By : Hossam Abdallah | 20 October 2020
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is a revival of the legendary ancient library built in classical Greek times. The rebuilding of the library has returned Alexandria to its former status as a centre for learning and exchange and provided the city with a landmark building.
Alexandria’s ancient library was one of the greatest of all classical institutions, and while replacing it might seem a Herculean task, the new Bibliotheca Alexandrina manages this with aplomb. Opened in 2002, this impressive piece of modern architecture is a deliberate attempt to rekindle the brilliance of the original centre of learning and culture. The complex has become one of Egypt’s major cultural venues and a stage for numerous international performers, and is home to a collection of brilliant museums.
The library’s interior is equally as impressive as its exterior, presenting readers with an area of openness and light, reflective of the concept of knowledge-gathering and enlightenment. Materials used in its construction include beautiful wood panelling, granite and oxidized brass pores which serve to minimize sound, whilst creating a setting of grandeur and simple elegance.
The library has shelf space for eight million books, with the main reading room covering 20,000 square metres (220,000 sq ft). The complex also houses a conference center; specialized libraries for maps, multimedia, the blind and visually impaired, young people, and for children; four museums; four art galleries for temporary exhibitions; 15 permanent exhibitions; a planetarium; and a manuscript restoration laboratory.
Get the full experience and book a tour to this magical library with Magic Life Tours.
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