Pompey's Column and Serapeon
Southwest of downtown, in the poor district of Karmous, worth seeing the so-called. Pompey's Column (Amud el-Sawari "Rider's Column" or "Column of Columns") and the remnants of Serapejon. There are taxis and city buses to this part of the city. Not far from here to the Catacombs of Kom al-Shuqaf. On the dug up hill from the ruins of Serapejon rises a mighty column flanked by two Ptolemaic pink granite sphinxes. A red granite monolith with a Corinthian capital has a shaft length 27 m and diameter 2,7 m (at the base). It is the largest column in the Greco-Roman world. It was erected in honor of the Emperor Diocletian in 300 r., which cut off the rebellious city's supply of food and drinking water, forced its population to surrender. The emperor, who recovered from his anger, ordered the restoration of food supplies, a column was erected in gratitude in the territory of the Great Serapejon, somewhat ruined during the riots in 293 r.
There was a statue of the emperor on the top. After the Arab invasion, it found itself outside the defensive walls of the Tulunid era.
The Great Serapeon is the temple of Serapis, a syncretic deity combining the features of the Egyptian gods – Osiris and Apis, and Greek – Dionysus, Hades and Zeus. His cult was supposed to unite both nations, and Scrapis became the patron god of Alexandria.
The building of the second part of the Library of Alexandria stood in the cult center, the so-called. Library-Daughter, where the books of magic were kept, astrology and secret knowledge. During archaeological research, a network of underground galleries and corridors with recesses for scrolls was discovered, traces of a sacred animal cemetery and chapels for subterranean gods. Currently, only some of the underground galleries are open to visitors (three), a book store and an underground necropolis of the holy bulls.
The library of Serapejon burned several times (in years 172, 181 i 217), but the ultimate hers (and the sacred center) the end has come in 391 r., when a fanatical crowd led by Bishop Theophilus stormed the temple hill and devastated the buildings for several days. The events have been described by several Christian authors. On the hill, from the remains of the sanctuary, the church of St.. John the Baptist.
The catacombs of Kaum alz-Szukafa
The catacombs of Kaum alz-Szukafa (Kom esh-shukafa; dim. kom elszukafa; "Hill of shells", Arabic translations of the Greek Lofus Keratnejkos; occupy the southern slope of the hill southwest of Pompey's column, not far from the small al-Miri mosque. The underground necropolis was cut into the rocks – the first tombs were built at the end of the 1st century AD. -in the sub-Alexandrian Rakotis, older than Alexandria. He discovered her in 1900 r. on Abu Mansour Street (excavations began in 1892 r.) one of the Alexandrians who mined stone in the quarries. It consists of many levels; the lowest are inaccessible due to groundwater flooding.
Spiral staircase (6 m in diameter) leads to two levels. It is the only source of light and fresh air. The catacombs are unique because of their layout and the visible blend of Egyptian traditions, Romans and Greeks. The first level consists of a vestibule with semicircular niches (double exhedra) decorated with alabaster and carved shells, rotundas and triclinium funebre with four pillars (to the left of the rotunda), where on Greek beds (clit) feasts were held in honor of the dead. At this point, archaeologists found wine dishes and tableware. The hall has almost 9 m2. From the vestibule, the entrance leads to a rotunda covered with a dome supported by six pillars. Further east, a corridor leads to a separate room known as the Hall of Caracalla, where young Christians who were martyred on the orders of the emperor during the persecution of St. 215 r.
North of the rotunda, stairs lead to the lower level with the most interesting graves. The decorations discovered here are a mixture of Egyptian and Greco-Roman art from the times of Domitian and Trajan. From the main staircase you can see the main tomb lying below and the entrance to the Tomb Chapel with three niches for sarcophagi - it resembles a Greek temple with a pronaos, naosem and the funerary chapel. The facade is decorated with two composite columns, on the sides there are reliefs with holy Egyptian serpents, which are also the Greek symbol of the guardian spirit (Agathodaimon) with Thyrsus Dionysus and the caduceus of Hermes Psychopompos ("Soul leader"). Above the entrance there is a winged solar disk and ureus (as in every Egyptian temple) they resemble, that's the burial site. Right above the stairs leading to the Tomb Chapel, a Hellenic shell was carved in the vault. On the back wall of the façade, reliefs show Anubis and Set-Typhon (human and snake connection) in armor of Roman legionnaires.
In the niche there are sarcophagi decorated with Hellenistic plant garlands and masks of Medusa and satire. Above them, reliefs depict scenes of embalming a corpse lying on a lion's bed decorated with a crown of ateph by the Egyptian deities of the Underworld: Anubis, 1 lorusa i Tota. There are canopic urns under the bed. There is a gallery running around the chapel 91 niches (the graves on the shelf), on which to fold 3-4 mummy.
On the surface in the garden, among the columns, sarcophagi and damaged sphinxes, a reconstruction of the tomb was set up with paintings in the Egyptian-Greek style.