About Underground Library of Alexandria
The underground library of Alexandria, found underneath the ruins of the Serapeum, consists of a series of subterranean tunnels and storerooms where it is believed part of the collection of the Great Library of Alexandria was stored.
Underground Library of Alexandria history
The founding of the Great library and the Mouseion is unquestionably connected with the name of Demetrius of Phaleron, a member of the Peripatetic school and a former Athenian politician. The King’s advisor Ptolemy soon took advantage of Demetrius’s wide and versatile knowledge and, about 295 BC, charged him with the task of founding the library and the Mouseion.
The Great Library itself was the most famous library of the ancient world. The date of its destruction is disputed but may have been during Julius Caesar‘s time in the city.
However, the underground library of Alexandria – or at least the construction itself – remained in use until the destruction of the Serapeum in 391AD and may have been used for religious purposes by worshippers of Serapis.
Underground Library of Alexandria today
Today visitors can explore these underground chambers and see the niches in the walls where the documents were stored.
This site also features as one of our top ten tourist attractions in Egypt.
Getting to the Underground Library of Alexandria
The underground library is underneath the ruins of the Serapeum in the heart of Alexandria. The Serapeum is just off Karmooz street along from the Kanal Al Mahmoudeya Al Bahri road through the city, joining the highway 75. The Serapeum is a 17 minute drive from the international airport, and a half hour walk to Alexandria’s train station.
Immerse yourself in the ancient land of pharaohs, exploring the greatest pyramids in the world at Giza to the sites of reflection at El Alamein, within this travel guide to the best Egyptian historic landmarks.