Alexander the Great founded the city of Alexandria in 331BC and it was the capital of Egypt for more than 1,000 years.
Writers and scholars who used the ancient library at the School of Alexandria - including Archimedes and Euclid, the father of geometry - made the city the centre of Western culture.
Today few relics of Alexandria's great past are to be seen. The Pharos - the first lighthouse and one of the seven wonders of the ancient world - that stood at the harbour entrance has long since disappeared, though remains are believed to have been found in the harbour.
Increasing numbers of remains continue to be unearthed in the harbour, suggesting that some major event must have caused the city to have been overcome by the Mediterranean.
Cleopatra's Needle in London was one of a pair of obelisks that stood outside the Caesarum Temple in Alexandria. The other is now in New York.