Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Bibliotheca Alexandrina

The main entrance is a high granite wall engraved with letters of different scripts, with the roof sloping down to a reflecting pool. Located near the Mediterranean Sea it creates a dramatic architectural effect.

The library has four main museum areas.  The Museum of Antiquities showcases excavated artefacts from land and sea to exhibit different eras of Egyptian history. The collection contains areas for Ancient Egypt, Hellenistic, Greco-Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic time periods. Temporary collections are also given a space.  There is a museum admission fee and 60 minute guided tours are offered in Arabic, English, French, Greek, Italian and Spanish.  Photography and video are not permitted inside the museum.

Bibliotheca Alexandrina Outer View

flickr image by @bastique

The Manuscript Museum has its collection available to visitors in electronic format.  Touch-screen computers allow users to access electronic publications and various manuscripts in the collection.  Separate reading rooms are available to postgraduate students and researchers.

The Sadat Museum is dedicated to former President Anwar Al Sadat.  Video content, awards, personal possessions and portraits are highlights of the collection.

The History of Science Museum explores the role of science in Egyptian history. A great feature of this part of the library is the Planetarium Science Center.  You can experience digital full dome shows and live presentations by astronomers. The ALEXploratorium targets children and has interactive displays, programs, workshops and other activities.  However, visitors of all ages can enjoy this hands-on facility.

The library has 15 permanent exhibitions which feature the Impressions of Alexandria: The Awad Collection, The World of Shadi Abdel Salam, Arabic Calligraphy, The History of Printing, Arab-Muslim Medieval Instruments of Astronomy and Science (Star Riders), Seif and Adham Wanly: Motion and Art, The Raaya El-Nimr and Abdel-Ghani Abou El-Enein Collection Arab Folk Art, Abdel Salam Eid, Mohie El Din Hussein: A Creative Journey, sculptures and selected artwork from Contemporary Egyptian Art: The Artist’s Book, Adam Henin, Ahmed Abdel-Wahab, Hamed Saeed, and Hassan Soliman.

Each of these permanent exhibitions showcase Egyptian art and culture over time.  You can take your time with each artwork and display.

Academic research centres include the Alexandria and Mediterranean Research Center, Arts Center, Calligraphy Center, Center for Special Studies and Programs, International School of Information Studies, Manuscript Center, Center for the Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage, and Alexandria Center for Hellenistic Studies.

Two library shops are available for souvenirs.  The Planet Shop in the Planetarium has books for children, education and experimental products.  The library’s bookshop contains Egyptian handicrafts, books and other products to promote the library.

For food and drink options, the San Giovanni Coffee Shop offers meals, snacks and  beverages.

Chatby, Alexandria 21526

Date posted: 3rd September, 2014

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