Do you know what a catacomb is? What are they used for? Who made them? In this blog I will explain each and every thing.
Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa are cemeteries and Kom El Shoqafa specifically means “Mound of Shards”.
Located in Alexandria, Egypt, these catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa is a very famous archaeological site. Moreover, they were used as burials from 2nd to 4th century and were used for nearly over 200 years.
However, this site was rediscovered in 1900. How? A donkey fell into the shaft from where dead bodies were circulated and that’s how people found about it. (It might or might not be true.)
Did You Know? Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa are considered as one of the Seven Wonders of the middle Ages.
Founded by the Great Alexander and ruled over by the beautiful and intelligent Queen Cleopatra, Alexandria has influence of Roman architecture and art. (As they both were from Roman Empire).
Eventually, as the time changed, the statues inside this catacomb have merged Roman, Egyptian and Greek cultures. Also, some statues are made in Egyptian architecture and their clothing is Roman and hairstyle is in Greek style.
Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa: Layout
Firstly, what I saw were two-levelled catacomb cut through a solid rock. Shockingly, our guide told us that there were actually three levels but now it is completely under water.
Secondly, on my left was something called triclinium. Basically, it was a funeral hall more likely a banquet for friends and family to gather on funerals and sit on these stone couches filled with cushions.
What did we find next?
Further, we move on to the second level through a stone staircase. It was full of sculptures and statues and felt like I was in a museum. But that wasn’t true. Actually, we were in a cemetery. On the other hand, figures of men and women were carved into the walls displaying the lifestyle and sacrifices that the kings may have done.
Next, we reached the first level through rotunda wall which led us to the famous Hall of Caracalla.
Did You Know? It is believed that bones of horses and humans were found here.
Is your Brain all over the place at this moment?
I know what you are thinking. Why should I visit the catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa? It is just a cemetery and all. I wasn’t and still not am a big historical and archaeological fan but these ancient catacombs are really worth it.
Trust me, if you really like to travel and explore place then this place is a must in your list.
How to Reach: Take a taxi or a private car to Qesm Karmouz, Alexandria, 12 Governate, Egypt
What to Expect: Amazing blend of Roman, Greek and Egyptian architecture.
Weather: The weather is generally hot and dry. So, your travel clothing should be light and comfortable.
What to carry: Sun block, a hat, and water bottles.
Currency: Egyptian Pound (EGP)