Pharos Lighthouse Pharos Lighthouse

Pharos Lighthouse

Episode 5

Did you know that this lighthouse was one of the seven ancient wonders of the world?

The lighthouse is situated on what was the Island of Pharos. The causeway that was built to the island from the city of Alexandria created the harbour.

The first lighthouse on the site was started in 290BC by Ptolemy Soter, a commander in the army of Alexander the Great. The city of Alexandria is named after Alexander, famous as ruler of Ancient Greece and leader of their conquering armies. The lighthouse acted as a landmark which could be seen far out at sea. Unlike modern lighthouses, which have sophisticated lights and lenses, the Pharos lighthouse would have relied on a fire at the top at night and smoke during the day, along with the sun reflecting from the walls. Historians estimate that the lighthouse was between 115 and 135 metres tall and stood on this site until the 14th Century when it was destroyed by a series of earthquakes. Parts of the lighthouse were found on the sea bed by divers in 1994, and you can see more on satellite images of the area.

The lighthouse would have been very impressive indeed and even appeared on Roman coins.

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