Malia Heffner

Malia Heffner

Published: 16 Sep 2023


The Bibliotheca Alexandrina, also known as the Library of Alexandria, is a remarkable institution that pays homage to the ancient Library of Alexandria, which was one of the greatest centers of learning in the ancient world. Rebuilt in 2002, the modern Bibliotheca Alexandrina is not just a library, but a cultural complex that encompasses a wealth of knowledge, research facilities, and cultural activities.

In this article, we will delve into some extraordinary facts about the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, shedding light on its incredible architecture, impressive collection, and its role in promoting education and research in the region. From its innovative design inspired by ancient Egyptian and Islamic architecture to its collection of millions of books and manuscripts, this iconic landmark has truly become a beacon of knowledge and a symbol of intellectual curiosity in the 21st century.

Table of Contents

A Modern Wonder

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina, often referred to as the “Library of Alexandria,” is an architectural marvel located on the Mediterranean coast in Alexandria, Egypt. It is a symbol of the revival of the ancient Library of Alexandria, which was one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world.

Architects from Around the World

The design of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina was a collaborative effort by architects from around the globe. The Norwegian firm, Snøhetta, in partnership with the Egyptian firm, Hamza Associates, won an international competition to design this iconic structure.

A Hub of Knowledge

The library complex spans over 80,000 square meters and is a hub of knowledge and culture, housing not only a vast collection of books but also several specialized libraries, museums, art galleries, and research centers.

A Multilingual Collection

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina boasts a collection of over 2 million books, making it one of the largest libraries in the world. Its collection includes books in various languages, covering a wide range of subjects from history and literature to science and technology.

A Technological Marvel

With the aim of embracing modern technology, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. It offers digital access to its vast collection, allowing users to browse and access a wealth of information online.

A Center for Cultural Exchange

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina serves as more than just a library. It is a vibrant cultural center that hosts numerous events, exhibitions, conferences, and seminars that foster intellectual and cultural exchange among scholars, researchers, and artists from around the world.

A Window to the Past

The library’s Manuscript Museum houses a remarkable collection of ancient manuscripts, including a collection of Coptic texts and rare Islamic manuscripts. These precious documents offer valuable insights into the history, culture, and intellectual achievements of the ancient world.

Tribute to Alexandria’s Heritage

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is not only a tribute to the lost ancient Library of Alexandria but also celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the city. The library complex incorporates elements inspired by Pharaonic, Greek, and Islamic architecture, paying homage to Alexandria’s multicultural past.

An Architectural Marvel

The iconic circular structure of the main library building is one of the defining features of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. Its sloping granite roof symbolizes the rising sun, representing the constant pursuit of knowledge and enlightenment.

The Planetarium

Located within the complex, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Planetarium is a state-of-the-art facility that offers visitors a mesmerizing journey into the cosmos. With its advanced technology and immersive experiences, it brings the wonders of the universe closer to the public.

A Stairway to Knowledge

The main library building features a grand central staircase that spirals upwards, leading visitors through the various levels of the library. This architectural element symbolizes the ascension of knowledge and invites patrons to explore the vast wealth of information the library has to offer.

A Symbol of Unity

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina stands as a beacon of unity and collaboration, bringing together representatives from different countries and cultures. It serves as a platform for dialogue and understanding, promoting tolerance, peace, and cultural exchange.

A Cultural Landmark

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina has become a significant cultural landmark, attracting millions of visitors from around the world. Its stunning architecture, diverse collection, and vibrant cultural activities make it a must-visit destination for book lovers, scholars, and anyone interested in the pursuit of knowledge.

A Legacy for Future Generations

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is dedicated to preserving and disseminating knowledge for future generations. It serves as a testament to the enduring power of libraries and the importance of intellectual curiosity, inspiring individuals to expand their horizons and explore the depths of human knowledge.


In conclusion, Bibliotheca Alexandrina stands as a testament to the rich history and intellectual legacy of Alexandria. With its remarkable design, extensive collection, and dedication to research and cultural exchange, it has become an extraordinary hub for knowledge and innovation. This architectural marvel not only pays homage to the ancient Library of Alexandria but also embraces modern advancements in technology and communication. As a cultural landmark, Bibliotheca Alexandrina continues to inspire and engage people from all over the world, providing a space for intellectual exploration, artistic expression, and dialogue. Its significance and impact on the global scholarly community cannot be overstated. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a book lover, or simply interested in immersing yourself in the fascinating world of knowledge, Bibliotheca Alexandrina is a must-visit destination that will leave you in awe.


1. What is Bibliotheca Alexandrina?

Bibliotheca Alexandrina is a modern library and cultural center located in Alexandria, Egypt. It aims to recapture the spirit of the ancient Library of Alexandria, one of the largest and most important libraries of the ancient world.

2. When was Bibliotheca Alexandrina built?

The construction of Bibliotheca Alexandrina was completed in 2002. It was officially inaugurated on October 16th, 2002.

3. How big is the Bibliotheca Alexandrina collection?

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina houses a vast collection of books, manuscripts, maps, and other media. It is estimated to have over 8 million books and aims to collect a copy of every book published in the world.

4. What are the notable features of Bibliotheca Alexandrina?

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina has many notable features, including its iconic curved design, the four massive statues at the entrance, the planetarium, the conference center, the museums, and the open-air amphitheater.

5. Can visitors access the books in Bibliotheca Alexandrina?

Yes, visitors are allowed to access the books in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. However, access to certain collection items may be restricted for preservation purposes.

6. Are there any special events or exhibitions held at Bibliotheca Alexandrina?

Yes, Bibliotheca Alexandrina hosts various events, seminars, conferences, art exhibitions, and cultural performances throughout the year, making it a vibrant center for intellectual and artistic exchange.

7. Can I take a guided tour of Bibliotheca Alexandrina?

Yes, guided tours of Bibliotheca Alexandrina are available for visitors. These tours provide insights into the history, architecture, and collection of the library.

8. How do I get to Bibliotheca Alexandrina?

Bibliotheca Alexandrina is easily accessible by public transportation. It is located in the Sharq District in Alexandria, Egypt.

9. Is there an entrance fee for visiting Bibliotheca Alexandrina?

No, there is no entrance fee for visiting Bibliotheca Alexandrina. It is open to the public free of charge.

10. Can I borrow books from Bibliotheca Alexandrina?

No, borrowing books is not permitted at Bibliotheca Alexandrina. However, visitors can read and study the books within the library premises.