The exterior side of Alexandia's Library.
Library of Alexandria
The Royal Library of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt, was once the largest library in the world. It is generally thought to have been founded at the beginning of the 3rd century BC, during the reign of Ptolemy II of Egypt. It was likely created after his father had built what would become the first part of the library complex, the temple of the Muses — the Musaion (from which the modern English word museum is derived).
It has been reasonably established that the library, or parts of the collection, were destroyed by fire on a number of occasions (library fires were common enough and replacement of handwritten manuscripts was very difficult, expensive and time-consuming). To this day the details of the destruction (or destructions) remain a lively source of controversy. The Bibliotheca Alexandrina was inaugurated in 2003 near the site of the old library.
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is a major library and cultural center located on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea in the Egyptian city of Alexandria. It is both a commemoration of the Library of Alexandria that was lost in antiquity and an attempt to rekindle something of the brilliance that this earlier center of study and erudition represented.
The idea of reviving the old library dates back to 1974, when a committee set up by the Alexandria University selected a plot of land for its new library, between the campus and the seafront, close to where the ancient library once stood. The notion of recreating the ancient library was soon enthusiastically adopted by other individuals and agencies. One leading supporter of the project was current Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak; UNESCO was also quick to embrace the idea of endowing the Mediterranean region with a center of cultural and scientific excellence. An architectural competition, organized by UNESCO in 1988 to choose a design worthy of the site and its heritage, was won by Snøhetta, a Norwegian architectural office, from among more than 1,400 entries. At a conference held in 1990 in Aswan, the first pledges of funding for the project were made: USD $65 million, mostly from the Arab states. Construction work began in 1995 and, after some USD $220 million had been spent, the complex was officially inaugurated on October 16, 2002.
The dimensions of the project are vast: the library has shelf space for eight million books, with the main reading room covering 70,000 m² on eleven cascading levels. The complex also houses a conference center; specialized libraries for the blind, for young people, and for children; three museums; four art galleries; a planetarium; and a manuscript restoration laboratory.
The library's architecture is equally striking. The main reading room stands beneath a 32-meter-high glass-panelled roof, tilted out toward the sea like a sundial, and measuring some 160 m in diameter. The walls are of gray Aswan granite, carved with characters from 120 different human scripts.
Bibliotheca Alexandrina also maintains a copy of the Internet Archive.
Critiques | Translate
aadilj (18102) 2007-01-17 4:58
A very pleasing image in white and blue. The white walls stands beautifully in the fore ground as it turns with its shape. The image is sharp and the colours extremely vivid and vibrant. You've got a good pov and great dof here. Overall a superb composition.
danyy (0) 2007-01-17 10:05
in y a de l'idée et beaucoup de graphisme ici, les lumières et les blancs sont bien calibrés, un joli contraste avec le bleu du ciel et une photo assez nette pour bien voir les caractères se dessiner dans le pierre.
AthaPan (0) 2007-01-17 10:10
Oraios syndiasmos me ton ourano.
pastadog (13111) 2007-01-18 6:20
Lovely composition, Danos, in great combination of blue-white-black and nicely composed with the unusual shape of the building and the lampposts on both sides framing it nicely - good sharpness too, regards, Daniel
Emiel_Skyfreak (3002) 2007-01-18 16:37
Hmm interesting photo. Nice subject, colours, contrast. Good sharpness, nice pov and compo.
leonorkuhn (16235) 2007-01-19 9:00
Very good capture. I like these written symbols in the wall. Great light, colors and textures.
stego (24132) 2009-02-18 11:59
Γειά σου Danos,
I remember well having seen this one, I wonder why I haven't written something.
The massive wall covered in what seems to be every kind of letters makes a very powerful image. The candles help giving "balance", reminding guardians and the clear blue sky is also very nice. The curve of the top of the wall combines very well with the rectangle of the image.
I wonder why it attracted so few comments.
quillo (11856) 2010-05-01 1:27
Hola Danos ----->
It is a simple but very interesting image of
the stone wall burdened with signs
of different alphabets,
I like the contrast with intense blue sky.
Un saludo amigo y feliz sábado.
geoant68 (331) 2011-11-21 22:37
μασίφ το κυκλικό εξωτερικό περίβλημα της βιβλιοθήκης της Αλεξάνδρειας,με τα αρχαία γράμματα από την Αίγυπτο,Ελλάδα και πολλών άλλων πολιτισμών να είναι γραμμένα στην επιφένειά της.
frunchy (1800) 2012-09-29 7:03
you found a good way to show the building by using the two lamp posts, each on the end of one side. To include a bit of sky was also a good decision.
TFS, best regards, F.
onphoto (1253) 2012-12-16 9:09
Nice curves and color in the sky! Great time with sharp hieroglyphics!
gus72 (3719) 2013-09-27 21:00
Hi Danos !!!
this photo caught my eye..... I am always looking for interesting Architecture and although I can only see very little in the photo your notes gave me a lot of valuable information.
Nice tight crop highlights the two lamps and the arabic symbols in the external wall.
have a nice week end
- Copyright: Danos kounenis (danos) (102490)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2006-01-29
- Categories: Architecture
- Camera: Canon 350 D, Canon EF-S 17-85 mm IS USM, Cokin 67mm Circular Polarizer
- Exposure: f/5.0, 1/4000 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Travelogue: Egypt, An unbelivable experience
- Date Submitted: 2007-01-17 4:30