Imaginary Old Alexandria, Egypt

Nothing remains of the Temple of Augustus. Founded by Cleopatra in honor of Mark Antony, it may well be in this temple that Cleopatra committed suicide in 30 BC. The temple stood near the shore at the center of the great harbor. It was a lavish temple with porticoes, propylalea, parks and libraries. The temple was rededicated to Caesar Augustus, Mark Antonio’s conqueror.

With the adoption of Christianity, it became the Cathedral of Alexandria in the 4th century AD. It was destroyed in 912 AD. In front of the temple stood two red granite obelisks called “Cleopatra’s Needles”, though they bear the names of Tuthmosis III, Seti I and Ramesses II. The obelisks were brought to Alexandria from Heliopolis by the Romans 20 years after Cleopatra’s death. These giant Obelisks stayed still facing the old Harbor until 1877, when the British forces took them and shipped them away. One was removed to the Thames Embankment in London, and the other was taken to New York where it stands in Central Park. The statue of a great Alexandrine Nationalist called Saad Zaghloul is standing in the same location where Caesareum used to be. The statue is surrounded with a park which is considered to be one of the busiest squares in Alexandria.

Caesareum of Alexandria

© Mohamed Gohar sketches

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