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Pompey’s Pillar – An Open Museum in Alexandria

Pompey’s Pillar is an open museum in Alexandria. This pillar wasn’t really built for Pompey, a Roman politician and military general. He was also Julius Caesar’s fiercest rival and mortal enemy in the civil war.

This monolithic column was built to commemorate the triumph of the Roman Emperor Diocletian over a revolt in Alexandria. And now, you’d ask: How in the world this shaft became known as Pompey’s Pillar?

Related: Things to do and see in Alexandria

It’s known in the Middle Ages that a bronze urn on top of the pillar contained the ashes of Pompey.

Pompey's Pillar - An Open Museum in Alexandria (Egypt).

Pompey’s Pillar – An Open Museum in Alexandria (Egypt).

This corinthian column is standing on blocks that comes from earlier foundations.

Pompey's Pillar - An Open Museum in Alexandria (Egypt).

Pompey’s Pillar – An Open Museum in Alexandria (Egypt).

It’s cut from red granite in Aswan in the southern part of Egypt.

Pompey's Pillar - An Open Museum in Alexandria (Egypt).

Pompey’s Pillar – An Open Museum in Alexandria (Egypt).

It stands 20.46 meters tall with a diameter of 2.71 meters.

Pompey's Pillar - An Open Museum in Alexandria (Egypt).

Pompey’s Pillar – An Open Museum in Alexandria (Egypt).

Under Pompey’s Pillar are the relics of what was once the Temple of Serapeum.
Pompey's Pillar - An Open Museum in Alexandria (Egypt).

Pompey’s Pillar – An Open Museum in Alexandria (Egypt).

It’s a temple dedicated to Serapis, the god of Alexandria.

Pompey's Pillar - An Open Museum in Alexandria (Egypt).

Pompey Pillar – An Open Museum in Alexandria (Egypt).

There’s not much to see in the surrounding but rubbles from past glory.

Pompeys Pillar - An Open Museum in Alexandria (Egypt).

Pompeys Pillar – An Open Museum in Alexandria (Egypt).

Don’t forget to go underground and find the sacred Apis bull. It also believed that underneath once stood the “Daughter Library” owned by Cleopatra.

Pompey Pillar - An Open Museum in Alexandria (Egypt).

Pompey Pillar – An Open Museum in Alexandria (Egypt).

Though it is one of Alexandria’s main tourist attractions, only few come to see it. I find it a refuge from the usual crowded tourist places anywhere in Egypt.

Pompey's Pillar - An Open Museum in Alexandria (Egypt).

Pompeys Pillar – An Open Museum in Alexandria (Egypt).

And oh, just in case you’d ask – whatever happened to Pompey? He was murdered by Cleopatra’s brother!

Travel Tips: 
Come in the morning to avoid the searing heat. There are no shades here where you can take a respite from the blazing sun.

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