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Pompey's Pillar

Pompey’s Pillar: Ancient Egyptian and Roman Glory

Pompey’s Pillar is a piece of Roman history still in the Egyptian city of Alexandria and is one of the world’s oldest and tallest memorial columns. In this article, we’ll find out everything there is to know about this old thing.

What is the Pillar of Pompey?

Pompey’s Pillar is a large column made of granite that dates back to the Roman era. It is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Alexandria. This column is part of the ruins of a substantial Roman building that used to be in Alexandria many years ago.

It was built on the Bab Sidra hill, between the Amoud tombs, an Islamic cemetery, and the old Kom el-Shoqafa plateau. It is made of red granite and is about 27 meters long.

Geographical Location of Pompey’s Pillar

Pompey's Pillar

The Pillar of Pompey is in the western part of Alexandria, close to places like the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa that have been found.

Almost all travel packages that include a trip to Alexandria include a trip to the Pillar of Pompey and the Roman Amphitheatre.

The Pillar of Pompey, or Amoud El Salary in Arabic, can be reached by taxi or other local transportation. But it is always best for tourists to book tours to Egypt through official travel agencies if they want to have a great time there.

History of Pompey’s Pillar

Pompey’s Pillar is one of the few remaining parts of the Serapeum, an old Roman building. This temple was made to honor the god Serapis, and it was built at the end of the third century BC when Ptolemy I was king.

One of the most exciting things about Serapis is that it was made by combining Egyptian gods like Osiris and Apes, the sacred bull, with Greek gods like Zeus and Dionysus.

During the time of the Ptolemies, the western part of Alexandria was called Rhakotis. It was where the sacred bulls of the god Apis were buried because the bulls were thought to be reincarnations of Apis.

In the ruins of the Serapeum, a hidden room was found where a statue of the god Apis was found. The figure is now on display at the Greco-Roman Museum. This find shows that the cult of the god Apis has been around since the Ancient Kingdom.

During the time of Ptolemy III, at the beginning of the 2nd century BC, the original temple of the Serapeum was torn down and replaced with a newer building.

An interesting thing about the Pilar is that its name, which comes from the Roman politician and military leader Pompey, who lived in the first century BC, could not be linked to the ship.

Some theories say Pompey ran away from Rome because he feared Julius Caesar. Once in Egypt, Egyptians killed him, put his head in a jar, and put it on the top of the Pillar. But none of these theories have evidence to back them up.

Most historians agree that this monument was made in honor of the Roman Emperor Diocletian in 298 AD. The note on the west side of the base of the Pillar proves this.

Description of Pompey’s Pillar

Pompey's Pillar

Pompey’s Pillar is a historical site of a big garden on a hill with many interesting artifacts. The Pillar stands out as the most important landmark.

It was made from a piece of red granite and is 20.75 meters tall and 2.70 meters wide at its base. The Pillar is 27 meters tall from the floor to the top of the crown.

On each side of the Pillar are two beautiful red granite sphinx statues. Experts say they were built when Ptolemy VI Philopator, who ruled Egypt from 186 to 145 BC, was in power. The two statues were found in 1906 and are an excellent addition to the Pillar.

Along with the Citadel of Qaitbay, the Roman Amphitheater, and the Library of Alexandria, Pompey’s Pillar is one of the essential sights in Alexandria.

Who built the Column of Pompey?

Romanians built Pompey’s Pillar in the third century AD to honor Emperor Diocletian. It is the last remaining piece of the Serapeum temple that Postumus built.

Why is it called Pompey’s Pillar?

In the Middle Ages, the Crusaders thought that a pot at the top of the column held the ashes or bones of the great Roman general Pompey, and it became known as “Pompey’s Pillar” because of this.

Do you need to book before visiting Pompey’s Pillar?

You don’t need to book a ticket before going to Pompey Pillar. You can buy the ticket at the entrance, or if you are coming with a tour group, they will take care of it.

Pompey’s Pillar Egypt

Pompey’s Pillar costs just 80 pounds per person to get in.

About the author

Egypt Planners Team is a highly experienced travel agency specializing in memorable trips to Egypt. The team comprises expert travel planners and tour guides with a deep knowledge of Egypt's history, culture, and top tourist destinations.