Of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, only one had a practical use in addition to its architectural elegance: The Lighthouse of Alexandria. For sailors, it made their return to the Great Harbour safe. For architects, it meant even more: it was the tallest building on Earth. And for the scientists, it was the mysterious mirror that attracted them most … The mirror the reflection of which could be seen more than 50 km (35 miles) off shore.
The project was suggested by Ptolemy Soter, but was completed after his death, during the rule of his son. The monument was built in memory of Ptolemy Soter and his wife. For centuries, the Lighthouse of Alexandria was used to mark the harbour, using fire at night and reflecting sun rays during the day. It was even shown on Greek and Roman coins, just as famous monuments are on banknotes today.
When the Arabs conquered Egypt, they admired Alexandria and its wealth. But the new rulers moved their capital to Cairo since they had no ties to the Mediterranean. Later the mirror was brought down. In 956 AD, an earthquake shook Alexandria and caused little damage to the Lighthouse. It was later in 1303 and in 1323 that two stronger earthquakes partially destroyed the structure.
The final chapter in the history of the Lighthouse came in 1480 AD when the Egyptian sultan decided to strengthen Alexandria’s defense. He built a medieval fort on the same spot where the Lighthouse once stood, using the fallen stone and marble.
architectural elegance ճարտարապետական նրբագեղություն
Great Harbour մեծ նավահանգիստ
the Mediterranean Միջերկրական ծով
little damage- փոքր վնաս
earthquake – երկարշարժ
fort – բերդ
1. In what way did the Lighthouse differ from the other Wonders?
a) It was very tall.
b) It was not only magnificent but also useful.
c) It had an architectural elegance.
2. What attracts modern visitors most of all?
a) the mysterious destruction of the Lighthouse
b) the height of the building and the remarkable mirror
c) it is not stated in the reading passage
3.Which of the following statements is true?
a) The Lighthouse was built by Ptolemy Soter.
b) The Pharos was designed by Soter’s son.
c) The idea of building a Lighthouse belongs to Ptolemy Soter.
4. The Lighthouse of Alexandria was damaged
a) by earthquakes following one another.
b) by the Arabs.
c) by barbaric tribes