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Alexandria Library - Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Library of Alexandria site plan

Alexandria library site plan

The main building of the library

The modern Alexandria Library or the Bibliotheca Alexandrina as once called in Ancient Egypt is located on a magnificent site in the Eastern Harbor, facing the sea on the north, and Alexandria University Complex on its southern side. It is very close to the location of the Ancient Library in the Brucheion (the Ancient Royal Quarter), as verified by the 1993 archeological survey.

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina was inaugurated in 2003 near the site of the old library.

The building consists of 11 levels with a total levels' area of 85,405 m2. The library's main reading area which can accommodate 2000 users occupies 7 levels with a total area of 13,625 m2.The Library has 2 main museums ( the manuscript museum and the Antiquities museum ) and a Science center of the shape of a sphere and called the Planetarium.

There is also the conference center which is an integral part of the Alexandria Library to host international conferences in Egypt.

The library design comprises a simple circle inclined towards the sea and partly submerged in a pool of water. The inclined roof lets in daylight indirectly and allows for an uninterrupted view of the Mediterranean. The building is surrounded by a wall clad with granite engraved with calligraphy and inscriptions representative of the world's civilizations.

 

Brief comment about the Ancient library of Alexandria :

The Royal Library of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt was once the largest library in the world. It is generally assumed to have been founded at the beginning of the 3rd century BC, during the reign of Ptolemy II of Egypt, after Ptolemy's father had raised what would become the first part of the library complex, the temple of the Muses.

The Royal Library is believed to have held anywhere between 40,000 to 700,000 books and was initially organized by Demetrius Phalereus. It has been reasonably established that the library was destroyed by fire yet, to this day, the details of the destruction or destructions remain a lively source of controversy.

 

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