Student Stories on the Lighthouse of Alexandria - The Pharos [Lighthouse] of Alexandria by Jayden Whitfield and Alexa Reynaga



Illustration of the Pharos Lighthouse, at Alexandria, by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach


What's the Pharos of Alexandria?

The Pharos of Alexandria is a lighthouse off the coast of Egypt that was built by Sostratus of Cnidus, and it was made of stone and rocks.The main purpose of the lighthouse was to guide sailors traveling in waters nearby or to direct ships to the harbor. Legends say that it may have been the first lighthouse ever built! But sadly, it was destroyed by an earthquake in the 14th century.

The Construction of the Lighthouse

Sostratus built it in the 3rd century BC. It took 12 years to build and a total cost of 800 talents, (a type of money)! The lighthouse was 120-137 meters tall, (394-449 ft). Its light range was about 47 km (29 miles) long, that's far! It was mostly made of solid limestone. Sostratus had a dedication inscribed in metal to the “Savior Gods.”

The Destruction

It was destroyed by an earthquake in the 14th century. But something fascinating happened a lot later from then. They found remains of the lighthouse in the waters nearby in the Mediterranean sea, AMAZING! But it was also the longest one to withstand weather and bad conditions.

Some people think it was the first lighthouse ever built. The lighthouse was originally built as a landmark. In 1994 some remains of the lighthouse were discovered by French archeologists.

Interesting Facts

  • It was one of the tallest man-made structure on earth for many centuries.
  • In today's money it would’ve cost approximately 3 million dollars to build. In 290 BC, it cost 800 talents, which was a form of money back then.
  • Inside the lighthouse were stairs that led to the beacon.
  • In 1840 the last remains of the lighthouse were used to build the Citadel of Qaitbay.
  • There were probably large mirrors inside reflecting the light coming from fires.

Original Release: May 18, 2017

Updated Last Revision: Jun 10, 2017

1) Fischer von Erlach, The lighthouse, http://1001inventions.com/img/pharos-of-alexandria-02.jpg, May/07/2015, May/24/2017, http://1001inventions.com/img/pharos-of-alexandria-02.jpg
2) unknown, remains, http://cdn.lolwot.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/10-truly-incredible-submerged-ruins-to-explore.jpg, Oct/01/2016, May/25/2017, http://cdn.lolwot.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/10-truly-incredible-submerged-ruins-to-explore.jpg
3) unkonwn, our information, http://www.unmuseum.org/pharos.htm, May/01/2011, May/25/2017, http://www.unmuseum.org/pharos.htm

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"The Pharos [Lighthouse] of Alexandria by Jayden Whitfield and Alexa Reynaga" AwesomeStories.com. May 18, 2017. Nov 16, 2019.
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