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
tigra (2968) 2007-01-12 4:41
Interesting capture and useful note. I learned smth. for myself from it:)
Thank you for sharing
AthaPan (0) 2007-01-12 7:32
Pijes se ena meros pou thelo poly na pao, jenika stin Egypto kai poio sygkekrimena stin Alexandreia.
Exo mia aporia? Ti lene oi "Egyptioi" jia tous Makedones?
Kseroune otu itane kai einai Ellines i tous syndiazoune opos olos o "aneu jnoseon" kosmos pe tous Skopianos?
Ellinika biblia apo tin arxaiotita yparxoune ekei?
feather (51130) 2007-01-12 10:46
I've learned something else new and interesting today; excellent note.
It's also interesting to see the sculptures of the giant books; a creative idea. Your wide view gives us a small glimpse of the huge scale of the place.
leo61 (0) 2007-01-12 14:37
Recently I`ve seen a reportage in german TV of this great new place with fantastic architecture.
Your image shows some nice deatails of this architecture and is well composed with these huge books and the nice lines of the wooden floor.
Have a nice weekend,
leonorkuhn (16235) 2007-01-12 18:38
This is a sacred place for me. I love books.
Nice composition, good POV, light and colors.
manatee (4668) 2007-01-21 19:17
For my Alexandria is one of the places I most to visit, this place is so interestiong and have a wonderful places to visit and many knowlenge.
I like your picture, the exposition of this books is a wonderful idea.
I like the person in the books vanishing by the motion of him self.
HFASSOURAKIS (4) 2011-05-02 14:25
ΜΠΡΑΒΟ - ΕΝΑ ΜΕΡΟΣ ΠΟΥ ΚΑΘΕ ΕΛΛΗΝΑΣ ΚΑΙ ΚΑΘΕ ΝΟΗΜΩΝ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΟΣ ΟΦΕΙΛΕΙ ΝΑ ΕΠΙΣΚΕΦΤΕΙ ! ΟΤΑΝ ΕΠΙΣΚΕΦΤΗΚΑ ΤΗΝ ΠΟΛΗ ΤΟ 1997 (ισως?) ΔΕΝ ΕΙΧΕ ΤΕΛΕΙΩΣΕΙ ΑΚΟΜΑ.
ΠΟΛΥ ΟΜΟΡΦΗ ΦΩΤΟ ΑΠΟ ΕΝΑ ΦΟΒΕΡΟ ΚΤΙΡΙΟ !
ΝΑΙ ΕΙΣΑΙ ΤΥΧΕΡΟΣ !
ΝΑ ΣΑΙ ΠΑΝΤΑ ΕΤΣΙ ΤΥΧΕΡΟΣ ΚΑΙ ΜΕ ΚΑΛΟ ΜΑΤΙ !
geoant68 (331) 2011-11-24 1:07
εντυπωσιακή σκηνή από το εσωτερικό της Βιβλιοθήκης της Αλεξάνδρειας με τα μεγάλα βιβλία να δεσπόζουν της αιθούσης.Το φως είναι αποτυπωμένο τέλεια με τις λεπτομέρειες να είναι τόσο εμφανείς.
Miguel82 (27646) 2013-05-14 6:24
Good document about this ancient library Danos,
A dedicated place to find old books and maybe manuscripts written on papyrus
Excellent sharpness, exposition and pov
gus72 (3719) 2013-10-12 14:23
Hi Danos !!
I would have never imagined this type of display inside the library..... it is quite artistic and quite proper.
your selected POV allows us to see so much... it is really interesting.
Very well captured.
Have a nice week end
ikeharel (72853) 2015-05-16 2:06
Modern building to accomodate the ancient treasures of Egypt, Danos - I just hope it had survived the vandalism when the revolusion happened 3 years ago, saw something on the news back than.
Well taken the sight indoor's, fine light management.
Kalimera and a nice weekend,
- Copyright: Danos kounenis (danos) (99160)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2006-01-29
- Categories: Architecture
- Camera: Canon 350 D, Canon EF-S 17-85 mm IS USM, Hoya 67 mm UV MC
- Exposure: f/5.6, 1/20 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Travelogue: Egypt, An unbelivable experience
- Theme(s): Libraries - Library [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2007-01-12 4:35