In 332 – 331 gg BC Alexander of Macedon founded the capital of Hellenistic Egypt, Alexandria. Here is the famous Alexandria musseyon – one of the major scientific and cultural centers of the ancient world, and if it is not less than the famous library of Alexandria, in which there were, almost the 700,000 volumes of Greek and Oriental books. Alexandria was the richest city in his time. Many wonderful buildings were erected in Alexandria. They owned and Alexandria lighthouse on a rocky island Foros near the Nile delta.
Using the lighthouse began in antiquity and the development of navigation. Initially, these were the fires that are located on the high banks, and then man-made structures. One of the seven wonders of the ancient world – of Alexandria, or Forossky glowing lighthouse was built in 283 BC The construction of this giant construction took only 5 years old, which in itself is remarkable.
The main construction material for it served as limestone, marble, granite.
The lighthouse consisted of three set out on each other gradually decreasing the towers. The height of the lighthouse is enormous: according to one of 120 meters, according to the descriptions of Ibn – al – Sihem (XI century). – 130 -140 meters, according to some modern publications, even 180 meters.
The base of the tower bottom square – the size of 30.5 meters. The lower tower height of 60 meters was built of stone slabs decorated with exquisite sculptures. Average, an octagonal tower, a height of 40 meters, lined with white marble slabs. The upper tower – lights – round, with a dome mounted on granite pillars, was crowned by a huge bronze statue of the patron saint of the seas Poseidon height of 8 meters.
At the top of the third tower in the voluminous bronze bowl smoldering charcoal, which glow with the help of a complex system of mirrors to 100 miles to the location of the harbor. Through the lighthouse passed mine around which the spiral ramp and climbed the stairs. On a wide and gentle ramp to the top of the lighthouse drove donkey cart. The mine delivered fuel for the fire beacon.
High lighthouse was wonderful observation post. The system of metal mirrors used for the review of maritime space, the ability to detect enemy ships before they appear on the shore. Here were arranged vane, clocks and astronomical instruments.
The lighthouse, built on the island of Foros, according to its huge size and complex system of reflectors was a unique structure. Here’s how it characterized his Achilles Taty in his novel “Leucippus and Klitofont:” … the structure of bizarre and amazing mountain, lying in the middle of the sea, reached the clouds and the water flowed under that facility, but it silos, hanging over the sea. ”
Lighthouse of Alexandria, stood for about 1500 years, while serving torch, helping to navigate the Mediterranean “kibernetos,” as pilots call the ancient Greeks. Lighthouse twice suffered from earthquakes, but it was reduced, until finally he collapsed due to the weathering of stone. Then, on the ruins of a lighthouse erected a medieval fortress.
From one of the seven “Wonders of the Ancient World” seemed to have nothing left except ruins built into the kite – Bay, where they still exist, but the name. Name of the island has become a symbol: “Foros” came to mean “lighthouse”. Hence the current “spotlight”.
In 1961, during the study of coastal waters divers have found on the seabed statues, sarcophagi, jewelry boxes made of marble. In 1980, an international team of archaeologists discovered the remains on the seabed Foros lighthouse. At the same time at a depth of 8 meters discovered the ruins of the legendary palace of Queen Cleopatra. This is one of the greatest discoveries of archeology.