The importance of the city of Alexandria is very great because after its construction it is considered the cultural and commercial center of the Mediterranean. One of the important attractions of Alexandria is the Catacombs of Kom El Shokafa.
It is located on the street of “Bab El Melok” in the “Karmoz” district. The Catacombs are considered one of the famous archaeological sites of Alexandria. They reflect the Greco-Roman architecture mixed with ancient Egyptian architecture.
The Denomination of the Catacombs
This place is known as “The Catacombs”, which means the subway tunnel because it assimilates the design of the Christian Catacombs in Rome. It is also known as “Kom El Shokafa”, which means mountain of fragments because the remains of broken pottery were found in this place. This denomination of “Kom El Shokafa” is from ancient Greek.
The History and Discovery of the Catacombs
The Catacombs were built in the first century and the beginning of the second century. It was considered a private tomb and was later expanded and converted into a public cemetery for wealthy Romans. It was discovered in 1892 by chance.
It was said that a donkey fell into a hole dug in the ground 12 meters deep. When the Catacombs were discovered, they were immersed in water. In 1995 the lower level of the Catacombs was submerged and to save the Catacombs and protect them from damage, 6 wells of 40 m depth were built.
The Construction of the Catacombs
The Catacombs were built on 3 levels with bas-relief decorations that are considered a mixture of Egyptian and Greco-Roman arts. Behind the entrance, there is a spiral staircase, which leads to a depth of 20 m. There is a vestibule with 2 niches that lead to a circular room.
In the center of the room, there is a traffic circle with pillars and on the left, there is a chamber with 4 pillars. There is also another chamber with 4 columns. At the entrance of the main chamber, there are Greek decorations like “Athena” (goddess of war, civilization, and wisdom in Greek mythology) and “Medusa” (female monster) and on its date, there is the solar disk with two snakes, one on the right and the other on the left, they carry the crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt.
Inside this chamber, there are 3 niches excavated in the rock, each one with a sarcophagus. The chamber has 4 columns and decorations of ancient Egyptian gods such as Anubis (jackal-headed god) dressed as a Roman soldier and Sobek in military dress.
Visit the Alexandria Attractions
Alexandria has many attractions and is famous for the Library of Alexandria. Don’t miss the opportunity to discover this important destination with other destinations like Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan for our travel packages to Egypt. You can also enjoy one of our Nile cruises to visit the most important temples in the world.