The Great Lighthouse of Alexandria

By Jordan Yee


After Alexander’s death a building was planned unlike the other buildings of the time. The building is The Great Lighthouse of Alexandria, the very first lighthouse in the whole wide world. The Great Lighthouse of Alexandria is also known as the Pharos of Alexandria, and it was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.


This lighthouse was located on the small island of Pharos in Alexandria, Egypt. In year 290 BC to 270 BC the lighthouse was built. Centuries later the Great Lighthouse was destroyed into ruins by three earthquakes which happened between the years 956 AD to 1323 AD. A long time after that event, French archaeologists found remaining parts of the building in the Eastern Harbor of Alexandria in 1994.


The ruler of Egypt, Ptolemy Soter, ordered the lighthouse to be built. Ptolemy Soter wanted sea sailors to get navigated to the harbor easily and safely. The architect of this building was Sostratus, and he made the lighthouse around 140 meters tall.

The lighthouse was made of limestone blocks, and the lighthouse was divided into 3 parts: a bottom rectangular section, a middle octagon shaped section, and a circular top section. The tower had stairs that led to the very top where people saw the great view. The Great Lighthouse also included statues of the Greek god Triton, messenger of the sea at all four corners of the top of the bottom section, and at the top of the lighthouse stood a statue of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea.

At the furnace room in the lighthouse there was a giant mirror to reflect the rays of the sunlight in the day, and they use fire burnt in the furnace in the night. That way, sailors that wanted to get to Alexandria could see the powerful beam of light or fire smoke many miles away. This makes the lighthouse helpful to sailors in that time.

Works Cited
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“The Great Lighthouse at Alexandria.” The Museum of Unnatural Mysteries. Unmuseum, NF. Web. 13 Dec. 2014. <>.
“The Great Lighthouse of Alexandria.” Bridgeman Images. Schwarzburger, G., 1928. Web Image. 14 Dec. 2014. ©. <>.
“The Lighthouse of Alexandria.” Social Studies for Kids. Social Studies for Kids, NF. Web. 13 Dec. 2014. <>.

The Great Lighthouse of Alexandria was one of the tallest buildings in the Ancient World at that time.