The Beacon of the Mediterranean
What a sight this must have been! "What the Pharos of Alexandria was like we gather only from descriptions by early travelers and reconstruction by archaeologists, upon which the above picture are based. One of the Seven Wonders, it was a structure of singular grace and beauty. Built by Sostratus of Cnidus(285-247B.C.), at the command of Ptolemy Philadelphus. It's height estimated to have been between 350 feet and 600 feet, while it's light is said to have been visible 27 miles out at sea."
It is said that it was constructed of white marble and was built on a rock at the north east corner of the Island of Pharos. Whether the island took its name from the lighthouse or the lighthouse from the island, no one knows for sure. Lighthouse in many languages is "Pharos", Latin is "pharus", Spanish and Italian is "faros", French it is "phare".
Another interesting fact I came across "According to Arab tradition, the lighthouse was built on a foundation of glass" Apparently before they built the lighthouse, they tested out other materials to use as the foundation. Stone, brick, granite, gold, silver, copper, lead , iron and glass were thrown into the sea and tested. When they took these materials out of the sea they found that the glass alone was "full of weight and unimpaired. So glass was chosen - in great blocks."
There are not many details into the interior as of yet, but it is said to have 300 spacious rooms and to have housed a considerable garrison.
"In the eyes of the Arabs, who conquered Egypt in the seventh century, the most wonderful feature of the Pharos was the immense mirror at its summit. Legends assert that in it one could see all that was passing in the distant city of Constantinople, and that the glass could be turned to reflect the rays of the sun, and so burn ships while they were 100 miles out at sea."
Legends usually rest on some basis of fact. We can, therefore , liberally discount Arab imagination and still believe that Sostratus, by means of brazier and mirror, contrived to produce a light more powerful and penetrating than any devised by man until modern times; and that he anticipated the invention of the lens.
In the ancient world sheets of polished metal served normally as mirrors. The mirror of the Pharaohs is said to have been fashioned from transparent stone. Probably, however, glass was the substance used; and such was the size of the mirror that the men who lowered it from its place, after it had been guiding mariners for a thousand years, had not the skill to replace it."
Scanned from Wonders of the Past; see disclaimer
The Arabs, after their conquest of Egypt, continued for a long time to maintain the Pharos. Its light was finally extinguished as a result of a stratagem. In Mahomedan hands the Pharos served directly to help the enemies of Christendom. So, in the ninth century, the emperor sent an emissary from Constantinople to destroy it. This man wormed himself into the confidence of the Caliph, Al-Walid, whom he regaled with wondeful stories of treasure buried under the Pharos. The Caliph eventually, his cupidity aroused, gave orders for the building to be dismantled. Not until nearly half of it had been pulled down did he suspect a plot. Subsequently the Arabs attempted to rebuild the lighthouse with bricks, but they failed to raise it to its former height, and the famous mirror, when they tried to replace it, fell and was broken into a thousand pieces.
After this, the Pharos appears to have been converted into a Mahomedan mosque. But towards the end of the tenth century, when Cairo was built, the Arabs left it and Alexandria as well almost entirely deserted. Despite centuries of neglect, the lower part of the great tower was still standing in the fourteenth century. In 1375 an earthquake hurled it, a mass of formless stone into the sea.
Numerous attempts notably that of a German expedition in 1898-1899 have been made to identify the ruins. None has resulted in a convincing success. In calm clear weather, however, what are alleged to be the foundations of the Pharos still are visible beneath the sea near Fort Kait Bey.
Glitter Backgrounds from
Last pic of lighthouse from
Divivder from Wendy's