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“Descend into history”

Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa
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US$36.00*
and up
Private Guided Day Tour to Alexandria from Cairo
Ranked #4 of 73 things to do in Alexandria
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: An ancient circular staircase leads down into these tombs that were tunneled into the bedrock during the age of the Antonine emporers (2nd century AD).
New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
120 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
“Descend into history”
Reviewed 27 April 2014

A combination site of three cultures – Pharaonic, Hellenistic and Roman – this is an unexpected treasure in Alexandria. Located in the midst of a crowded old city, this is essentially an ancient burial site that preserves to a fair degree how burial would have happened.

The entrance is the opposite of imposing a bland gate with a guard. Who will check for cameras – they are not allowed inside. There is a short walk through broken pieces of buildings and a few sarcophagi, till you reach a rough hewn stone staircase going down. Be careful, there is little light here.

Inside there are burial chambers in three levels, though the lowest is under water now. In the centre is a six-pillared central shaft which opens off the vestibule. There is little authentic information about who this belonged to. There are various chambers, some clearly Roman, others marked in Egyptian symbols. There is also a strangely named Hall of Carcalla, where a glass case contains bones of horses and human mixed! Apparently these were of victims of a massacre. A bit macabre. Also the place has many broken plates and jars as apparently custom demanded that after eating – there is a hall for that, utensils were not to be carried back. Influences from the cultures intersect in design, layout and even purpose of space usage.

Everything is dimly lit, with open electric wires. Not just for anyone infirm. Today there are relatively few visitors, possibly due to most people avoiding Egypt at present. But this is a small place, and it can get crowded. Carry water with you. Definitely for those interested in history only.

Visited April 2014
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1 Thank sumansays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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362 reviews from our community

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Dhaka City, Bangladesh
Level Contributor
110 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Must visit for the history buffs”
Reviewed 25 April 2014

The place is a wonderful mixture of pharaonic, Roman and Greek civilization. The architecture, the engravings on the wall bear mark of the ancient histories. Specially loved the halls where the ancient war meeting happened. This is a must visit place if you are into history!

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank MasumMS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dhaka City, Bangladesh
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“History stored inside Alexandria,”
Reviewed 20 April 2014 via mobile

Its a must go place for me. You can see and feel the atmosphere in which ancient Greek people used to make plots for wars. Deep inside the well its cold, however outside its warm and scorching.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank NaimaAS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alexandria, Egypt
Level Contributor
82 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“In Alexandria.... If you are interested in archeology/history”
Reviewed 17 April 2014

Have been there twice it has the originality of bearing the marks of 3 great civilizations : Pharaonic, Helenic and Roman.....you can see that in the clothing of the caractersj ingrainved on the walls......Amazing !

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank WeArmenians
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
317 reviews
233 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
“YEP.... you gotta see this!”
Reviewed 1 April 2014

This was such an impressive place to see.. def worth the visit

Its considered one of the 7 wonders of the Middle Ages! I was annoyed that you couldnt take photos inside but honestly, I walked in and was too shocked and amazing to take photos... its just beautiful and you really feel like you have stepped back in time to some other world... the mix of carvings which merge Roman, Egyptian & Greek eras which was very interesting and something I hadnt seen before

Dont miss this...

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank JazzzSay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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