A Massive Granite Column Dating "Pompey’s Pillar"
Built on the Bab Sidra hill, the column is situated between the Islamic cemetery area known by locals as ‘Amoud tombs’ and the ancient ‘Kom el-Shoqafa’ plateau. It is nestled in the western side of Alexandria, surrounded by a wealth of other intriguing archaeological sites such as the ancient Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa. Pompey’s Pillar is one of the only ruins left in the ancient Roman complex, also known as Serapeum. This temple was formed for the worship of the god Serapis, built under the rule of Emperor Ptolemy I in the late third century BC.
The site Of Pompey’s Pillar
The site itself is made of a large sprawling garden situated on a hill brimming with archeological and historical treasures. The pillar, however, is the most remarkable. It is made of solid red granite measuring 20.75 meters high and 2.70 meters wide at its base. The total height including the base and the crown is 27 meters, soaring high into the sky. On either side of the pillar, you will find two glorious sphinx statues also made out of matching red granite. The two statues were discovered in the early 20th century and made a stunning addition to the ancient pillar. It is the last remaining relic of the Serapeum temple created by Postumus. During the Middle Ages, it was a common belief amongst the Crusaders that the ashes of Pompey were placed in a pot on top of the pillar, hence how it got its name.
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