What is Bibliotheca Alexandrina?

The Ptolemys, Greeks who inherited the Egyptian region from the Greek empire of Alexander the Great, transformed Alexandria into the cultural capital of the world, and that’s where they built the famous ancient Library of Alexandria. Built in the 3rd century B.C., it became a huge repository of all human knowledge and literature of the time. Books, which we all have in our homes today, and are sometimes mistreated, were at that time copied by hand and if you possess a book (scrolls, actually), you’re probably a philosopher, priest, or a person of excessive power and wealth. Several centuries later, human stupidity and violence destroyed it, and most of the recorded human knowledge of thousands of years vanished forever!

In a nostalgic move, Egypt, with the help of the United Nations, rebuilt and in 2002 inaugurated the Library of Alexandria, by the Meditteranean Sea, named it Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Latin for “the Library of Alexandria”.

The architecture of the newly built Library of Alexandria in Egypt is magnificent, its shape of a tilted circular disk surrounded by water, representing a sun in the Mediterranean horizon, is a symbol for enlightenment and knowledge. The exterior walls are covered with inscribed hieroglyphs and letters from living and dead languages, from all over the world.

More photos of the Library of Alexandria, Egypt at their official website

What is so special about this site?

These walls are very unique due to the magnitude of the symbols and characters from alphabets of different languages, dead and alive, that represent our truly amazing human heritage. This site contains “never seen before” photographs of all the exterior walls of the Library of Alexandria. Sure, tourists have been taking some photos of these walls, but they usually would not photograph the whole area, and also certain places and angles on the Eastern side and the back of the Library are not accessible to the public due to security reasons. Here is the only place on the web featuring this photo collection!

View the Western, Southern and Eastern sides now.

Library of Alexandria Walls

Library of Alexandria Walls

How did you access those areas?

I became friends with the janitors and those who clean around the Library. I also realize the magic of a few Egyptian pounds.

Who are you?

I’m a Web Developer who’s deeply in love with high culture, art and history.

How can I use this site?

Below you see how I divided the walls of the Library into 4 sections, North, East, South, West. The Northern side is underground, leaving no aboveground walls. You can view the walls of the Western, Southern and Eastern sides by clicking on the top links you see on the right sidebar of this page.

Who is this site for?

This site is mainly for students, teachers, language professors, and anybody who is interested.

Are these photos free to use?

Yes, all my photos of the Library of Alexandria are FREE for non-commercial use, no permission from me is required. You can share, print and publish them for non-profit and/or educational work. I would appreciate if you give a link back to this site or at least notify me of how you found them useful.
For all other uses, please contact me.

Can I help?

You can leave a comment at the bottom of any page with your feedback or suggestions. Let me know if you find the photos useful or you intend on using them. If you see alphabetic characters from a language you understand on the walls of the Library, explain or give the name of that language, by leaving a comment for everybody to read at the bottom of the page.

My BibAlex dream…

I truly hope that somebody, or a team would take on the project of decoding and explaining every symbol and character on those walls, from over 100 languages, then make it available for everybody to learn. If this idea appeals to you and you need my help, email me.

Contact me: