The reincarnation of the Great Library of Alexandria

The ancient library of alexandriaThe Great Library of Alexandria, located in   Alexandria in Egypt, was destroyed over 1500 years ago. Nobody knows when exactly it was destroyed and for what reason. All we know is that it held great knowledge that was burnt and destroyed.

In 2002, the Great Library of Alexandria was reincarnated in Egypt as a great cultural center known as Bibliotheca Alexandrina that people from all over the world come to see. Here are some quick facts:

  • It cost around $220 million to build
  • It’s a trilingual library containing books in Arabic, English and French
  • It’s the 6th largest francophone library in the world and the main French library in Africa
  • The main reading room covers 20,000 square meters
  • It has shelf space for eight million books

Bibliotheca AlexandrinaThe library itself has amazing structure where the main reading room is under a 32 meter high glass roof tilted towards the sea to look like a sundial. The outer walls are made of gray granite, with 120 characters from different human scripts engraved onto it.

In 2010, the library received a donation of 500,000 books from the National Library of France making it the 6th largest francophone library in the world and the main French library in Africa.

The library is also considered a great center for learning as it contains many programs and facilities with the sole goal of enriching the minds of both children and adults. An example of such facilities is the Planetarium Science Centre which contains three main programs:

  1. The Planetarium: a member of the International Planetarium Society (IPS) and a cutting-edge facility featuring state-of-the-art projection technology. The planetarium is a window to learn about the space and cosmos in a truly immersive way.
  2. The History of Science Museum: a permanent exhibition that highlights the historical aspect of science in Egypt during three major periods: ancient Egypt, Hellenistic Alexandria, and the Arab-Muslim World.
  3. The ALEXploratorium: a fascinating and innovative establishment. It’s a hands-on science facility where interactive activities and programs are held to intrigue the minds of children. It primarily targets children and the youth but not necessarily limited to them.

The modern Library of Alexandria is a great cultural, science and knowledge center that’s trying to live up to the great but deceased ancient library.


Written by: Osama Waheib

April 16, 2016

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