Alexandria ( or ; Arabic: الإسكندرية al-ʾIskandariyya; Egyptian Arabic: اسكندرية Eskendereyya; Coptic: ⲣⲁⲕⲟϯ Rakodī; Greek: Αλεξάνδρεια Alexandria) is the second-largest city in Egypt and a major economic centre. With a population of 5,200,000, Alexandria is the largest city on the Mediterranean - also called the Bride of the Mediterranean by locals - the sixth-largest city in the Arab world and the ninth-largest in Africa. The city extends about 40 km (25 mi) at the northern coast of Egypt along the Mediterranean Sea. Alexandria is a popular tourist destination, and also an important industrial centre because of its natural gas and oil pipelines from Suez.
Alexandria was founded in c. 331 BC by Alexander the Great, king of Macedon and leader of the Greek League of Corinth, during his conquest of the Achaemenid Empire. An Egyptian village named Rhacotis existed at the location and grew into the Egyptian quarter of Alexandria. Alexandria grew rapidly to become an important centre of Hellenistic civilization and remained the capital of Ptolemaic Egypt and Roman and Byzantine Egypt for almost 1,000 years, until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in AD 641, when a new capital was founded at Fustat (later absorbed into Cairo). Hellenistic Alexandria was best known for the Lighthouse of Alexandria (Pharos), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; its Great Library (the largest in the ancient world); and the Necropolis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages. Alexandria was the intellectual and cultural centre of the ancient Mediterranean world for much of the Hellenistic age and late antiquity. It was at one time the largest city in the ancient world before being eventually overtaken by Rome.
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