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Pompey's Pillar (column) - ATA Arab Travel Agency
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Pompey’s Pillar (column)

Pompey’s Pillar (column)

The so-called “Pompey Pillar” is the biggest memorial column in Egypt. It is a huge column of red granite, its total height is about 28 m with a diameter at the base of 2.7 m, and towards the capital at the top it tapers to 2.3 m.

 

Pompey’s Pillar is a Roman triumphal column in Alexandria, Egypt, and the largest of its type constructed outside the imperial capitals of Rome and Constantinople. The only known free-standing column in Roman Egypt which was not composed of drums,  it is one of the largest ancient monoliths and one of the largest monolithic columns ever erected.

 

This single Corinthian column standing on a rocky hilltop in the middle of Alexandria This column was actually built in 297 AD,  with commemorating the victory of Roman emperor Diocletian and General Gaius Pompey who was Julius Caesar’s rival in a civil war and was murdered by a Ptolomaic pharaoh in 48 BC when he fled to Alexandria .The monolithic column shaft measures 20.46 m in height with a diameter of 2.71 m at its base. The weight of the single piece of red Aswan granite is estimated at 285 tonnes. The column is 26.85 m high including its base and capital. Other authors give slightly deviating dimensions.

 

Today the only single column marks the site of what was once a huge and elaborate temple, which was constructed of marble and decorated with precious metals on the interior. Some of the tunnels around the complex remain and are open for tourists to explore and some of the artifacts from the temple have been recovered. A life-size black basalt bull from the temple and a golden plaque marking the foundation of the Serapis are on display in the Greco-Roman Museum.

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