“Ancient Queen of the Mediterranean” Alexandria is Egypt’s second largest city and its chief port. When Alexander the Great conquered Egypt in 332 BC, he founded a city on the site of the tiny fishing village of Rakotis, facing the rocky island of Pharos, to serve as his capital. Alexandria is 110 miles northwest of Cairo, on the Mediterranean. Its excellent beaches, comfortable seaside climate, and lively atmosphere have made it a popular summer resort.
As the capital of Egypt under the Ptolemies and the Romans, Alexandria rose to prominence as the cultural and commercial center of the ancient Mediterranean world. City and port in northern Egypt with about 4.0 million inhabitants (2005 estimate), situated on the Mediterranean Sea, 2 kilometres from the inland Lake Mariout.