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Lighthouse of Alexandria in Pharos

December 6th, 2005 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 
 

[Historic place, which presently does not exist]

Sometimes called the "Pharos of Alexandria" in reference to Pharos the island on which it resided (Also Pharos or Φάρος in greek means lighthouse), the Lighthouse of Alexandria was built in the 3rd century BC and is traditionally considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It ceased operating and was largely destroyed as a result of two earthquakes in the 14th century; its remains were found by divers in 1994 and subsequently more of it was revealed by satellite imaging. Its tower is estimated to have been 134 m (440 ft) high, easily one of the tallest man-made structures on Earth at the time. Built out of blocks of white stone, the tower was made up of three stages: a lower square with a central core, a middle octagonal section, and, at the top, a circular section. At its apex was positioned a mirror which reflected sunlight during the day; a fire was lit at night. As it can be seen from images of the Lighthouse on Roman coins struck by the Alexandrian mint, there were four statues of tritons blowing horns, one on every corner of the building. Also, in the Roman period, there was a statue atop the tower.

The design of minarets in many early Islamic mosques many centuries later followed a similar three-stage design to that of the Pharos, attesting to the building's broader architectural influence.

Legends tell of the light from the lighthouse being used to burn enemy ships before they could reach shore, however this is highly unlikely due to the relatively poor quality of optics and reflective technology in the time period in which the lighthouse existed. But only slightly less impressive, and probably more accurate, is the claim that the light from the lighthouse could be seen up to 35 miles (56 km) from shore.

Thanks in no small part to this wonder, Pharos later became the etymological origin of the word 'lighthouse' in many Romance languages, such as French (phare), Italian (faro), Portuguese (farol) and Spanish (faro).

(Source: Wikipedia)

2 Responses to “Lighthouse of Alexandria in Pharos”

  1. The World According To Google - satellite pictures of the most interesting places on the World, satellite maps » Blog Archive » Lighthouse of Alexandria in Pharos Says:

    […] Lighthouse of Alexandria in Pharos December 6th, 2005 / Category: Interesting places, Ancient wonders of the World / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Virtual Earth No Votes Yet - Vote Now! […]

  2. ... Says:

    Interesting place but where was the lighthouse in that map?

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