The Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa cemeteries are one of the most important historical and archaeological sites in the Kom El-Shoqafa area of Alexandria.
It is considered one of the seven wonders of the medieval world because the tombs of the dead in Kom El-Shoqafa combine Roman, Greek, and Egyptian cultures.
Introduction to The Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa
Alexandria was the capital of Egypt for a long time, and it was called the “bride or pearl of the Mediterranean.” There are a lot of monuments that are hard to find anywhere else in the country.
The Kom El Shoqafa Catacombs are one of Egypt’s most popular tourist destinations and one of Alexandria’s most important historical sites.
These catacombs made in a Roman style show how Ancient Egyptian art beautifully influenced Roman art.
The catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa are south of the Mena El Basel district in West Alexandria (or “Onion Port,” referring to the former onion trade in that area).
You can take a taxi to the catacombs from anywhere in Alexandria. Booking a tour through a reputable travel agency is best to get the most out of the trip.
History of Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa
We can tell that the Catacombs of Kom El Shohafa were built between the first and second centuries at different times. A.D., based on how they look, how they were made, and how they were decorated.
Some of the things found were made between the years 117 and 138 A.D. Historians agree that the catacombs were used until the end of the 4th century A.D. and were left empty.
This critical historical site was found by accident. On September 28, 1900, a donkey fell at the main entrance of the tombs, which was more than 12 meters deep. This caught the attention of the archaeological mission working in the area since 1892.
Description of Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa
The catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa are one of the best things to do in Alexandria today. The entrance is reached by a spiral staircase about 10 meters deep and 6 meters wide, and it goes around a cylindrical water well.
This staircase, which led to the first underground, was built with more giant steps at the top and smaller ones at the bottom. This was how Romans did things every day.
This is made up of a hallway that leads to a round room called “the Rotunda.” There is a water well in the middle of it. A rectangular room on one side is used as a banquet hall.
At the end of the circular room, some steps lead to a second basement with most of the tombs of Kom El Shoqafa.
The “rotunda,” or round room, is held by a dome and six columns. The water well is about 8.5 meters deep, and the walls of this room are made up of red shapes.
On the site, five heads of statues made of alabaster were found, and they are now on display at the Greco-Roman Museum in Alexandria.
The “triclinium” is the name of the second room that can be seen. It is 9 meters wide and 8.5 meters long and has the most beautiful decorations in Kom El Shoqafa. In this part of the catacombs, the living relatives of the dead got together for lunch.
The room with the three Greco-Roman coffins is essential to the second underground. The middle one has reliefs that show how hard it was to put people to rest in Ancient Egypt.
On the room’s walls are pictures of the Roman Emperor wearing his crown and giving gifts to the goddess Isis, whose wings protect the dead.
As you leave the main chamber of Kom El Shoqafa, you can see the god Anubis standing in front of a pharaonic door, wearing soldier’s clothes and holding Roman weapons.
The god Anubis is also shown on the right side, but this time he has a human body and a dragon’s tail. All of these scenes came from the art on tombs in Ancient Egypt.
Who built the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa?
The Romans built the cemetery of Kom El Shoqafa. It was found by accident in September 1900 when a donkey fell into the hole in the middle of the cemetery. While looking for the donkey, this unique trace was found.
Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa entrance fee
The Kom al-Shuqafa cemetery costs 80 pounds for adults and 40 for students. You can go there from 8 pm to 5 pm.
Why are the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa a wonder?
The catacombs in the Kom al-Shoqafa cemetery are one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages. The walls of the catacombs have inscriptions from the Greek, Egyptian, and Roman cultures, so they are a mix of all three.
Design of Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa
The tombs of Kom al-Shoqafa are a group of underground catacombs, most of which were built by the Romans. The Romans were influenced by the Pharaonic culture, which can be seen in the inscriptions on the tombs. Most people visit the tombs by going downstairs to the main cemetery.
The god of the dead, Anubis, is dressed as a Roman, and there are statues of the Roman emperors who were in charge of Egypt at the time.
Reason for the name
The Kom El Shoqafa was named after this because there were so many broken pieces of pottery and quarries in this area.