The second largest city and the main port of Egypt, Alexandria was built by the Greek architect Dinocrates (332-331 BC) on the site of an old fishing village called Rhakotis, at the orders of Alexander the Great. The city, immortalizing Alexander's name, flourished, beyond all expectations, into a prominent cultural, intellectual and economic metropolis, the remains of which are still evident to this day.
It was the renowned capital of the Ptolemies, with numerous and diverse monuments. It was the scene of the most thrilling drama involving Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, Marc Anthony and Octavius.
Alexandria lies north-west of the Nile Delta and adjoins Lake Mariut. It is linked to Cairo by the Delta Road (231 km.) and the Desert Road (225 km.). It is one of the most notable summer resorts in the Middle East, for, in addition to its temperate winters, its beaches, with soft sands and magnificent scenery, stretch for 40 km. along the Mediterranean Sea, from Abu Kir, in the east, to Sidi Abdul Rahman, in the west.