City history

Alexandria was founded around a small, ancient Egyptian town founded on 331 BC by Alexander the Great.

It became an important center of Hellenistic civilization and remained the capital of Ptolemaic Egypt and Roman and Byzantine Egypt for almost 1000 years, until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in AD 641, when a new capital was founded at Fustat.

Hellenistic Alexandria was best known for the Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; its Great Library.

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