A wondrous monument to the storied past of Alexandria and a modern testament to the inspiration of learning, the Alexandrian Library and Cultural center is one of the main travel and tourism attractions in the Egyptian city of the same name.
The visitor will easily be able to locate the library as it sits in the heart of the downtown along the curved harbor that makes a beautiful panorama in the busy city. Looking at the structure might cause one to wonder if one is in the land of the pyramids or the ultramodern cityscapes of Northern Europe. That’s because it is Norwegian designed. The design of the space allows for optimal daylight as well as sound deadening techniques to create an unparalleled atmosphere of focus.
The library has various sets of hours and of course as a major center of learning needs to have quiet areas free of visitors for those looking to research. The main area is open to the public from 10am till 4pm Sunday through Thursdays. There is a minimal cost of admission, a couple Egyptian pounds, which is well worth the price. The ticket also gives access to all permanent and temporary exhibitions as well as free access to any of the ongoing guided tours.
Once inside the library one will be astounded by the internal volume of the place. The part that rises from street level is just a fraction of the cavernous underground space that like a giant amphitheater opens up to reveal one giant room that extends several stories underground. The library proposes to have a copy of every published book from around the world, a link to the purpose and history of the first great Alexandrian Library. The collection also spans rare and antique books as well. The library is also home to a backup of the complete internet archive of all pages since 1996, a base for storage that gives online users free access to the entire internet as it once was and is.
There is a planetarium on site which also has a schedule of events and exhibitions, the entrance fee for this is different. There is a history of science museum on site which is engaging for school children to adults. There is also the ALEXploratorium which is a hands on science facility particularly aimed at giving young people a practical experience of science.