Alexandria , Egypt

Pompey's Pillar

Pompey’s Pillar in Alexandria: Unveiling the Fascinating History and Enigmatic Myth

Discover the awe-inspiring Pompey’s Pillar in Alexandria, Egypt. Unravel its rich history, intriguing myths, and find answers to frequently asked questions about this iconic landmark.


Welcome to our blog post about Pompey’s Pillar in Alexandria! In this article, we will delve into the captivating history and enigmatic myth surrounding this iconic monument. Join us as we explore the significance of Pompey’s Pillar, its connection to the past, and answer some frequently asked questions.

History of Catacombs of Pompey's Pillar:

1. Roman Origins:

Contrary to its name, Pompey’s Pillar has no direct connection to the Roman general Pompey. It was actually erected in honor of Diocletian, a Roman emperor who ruled from 284 to 305 AD.

2. Construction:

Pompey’s Pillar was carved out of a single piece of red Aswan granite, standing at a height of around 25 meters (82 feet) including the pedestal. It is estimated to weigh over 285 tons.

3. Purpose and Symbolism:

The pillar served as a memorial to commemorate Diocletian’s victory over a rebellion in Alexandria. It was also intended to demonstrate the emperor’s power and authority.

4. Site of Ancient Serapeum:

The pillar stands within the grounds of the ancient Serapeum, a temple dedicated to the Greco-Egyptian deity Serapis. The Serapeum was one of the most important religious and cultural centers in ancient Alexandria.

5. Preservation and Restoration:

Over the centuries, Pompey’s Pillar has endured various natural and human-induced damages. It has been repaired and restored multiple times, including renovations carried out during the Islamic period in Egypt.

6. Symbol of Alexandria:

Pompey’s Pillar has become an iconic symbol of Alexandria and one of its most famous landmarks. It attracts visitors from around the world who come to admire its grandeur and historical significance.

Today, Pompey’s Pillar stands as a testament to the ancient history of Alexandria and the Roman Empire. It serves as a reminder of the city’s rich cultural heritage and continues to fascinate visitors with its imposing presence and the mysteries it holds.

Frequently Asked Questions about Pompey's Pillar:

Can anyone visit the catacombs?

Yes, the catacombs are open to the public, allowing visitors to explore this ancient burial site.

How long does a typical visit to the catacombs take?

A visit to the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa usually takes around one to two hours, depending on the level of exploration and interest.

Are there any restrictions or guidelines for visitors?

To preserve the catacombs, visitors are advised not to touch the ancient artifacts or disturb the surrounding structures. Flash photography is also prohibited.

Is there an entrance fee?

Yes, there is a nominal entrance fee to enter the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa.


Pompey’s Pillar in Alexandria stands as a testament to the rich history and architectural prowess of ancient civilizations. Despite the misnomer, the pillar continues to captivate visitors from around the world. Its towering presence serves as a reminder of the enduring legacy left behind by the Roman Empire. So, next time you find yourself in Alexandria, make sure to visit Pompey’s Pillar and experience the awe-inspiring grandeur of this ancient monument.

So, why wait? Book your Alexandria Day Trip from Cairo today and get ready to immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of this enchanting city!

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