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Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa

Wonders of the World ::--Ancient 7 Wonder||Medieval 7 Wonder||Modern 7 Wonder||Natural 7 Wonder||Wonder of Underwater||Wonder of Industrial||Wonder didn't know Existed||Human with Diffrent||20 Strange Place's||

Seven Wonders of the Medieval World ::--1.Stonehenge|| 2.Colosseum|| 3.Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa|| 4.Great Wall of China|| 5.Porcelain Tower of Nanjing|| 6.Hagia Sophia|| 7.Leaning Tower of Pisa||

Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa

The Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa (meaning 'Mound of shards' or 'Potsherds') is a historical archaeological site located in Alexandria, Egypt and is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages.
The necropolis consists of a series of Alexandrian tombs, statues and archaeological objects of the Pharaonic funeral cult with Hellenistic and early Imperial Roman influences. Due to the time period, many of the features of the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa merge Roman, Greek and Egyptian cultural points; some statues are Egyptian in style, yet bear Roman clothes and hair style whilst other features share a similar style. A circular staircase, which was often used to transport deceased bodies down the middle of it, leads down into the tombs that were tunneled into the bedrock during the age of the Antonine emperors (2nd century AD). The facility was then used as a burial chamber from the 2nd century to the 4th century, before being rediscovered in 1900 when a donkey accidentally fell into the access shaft. To date, three sarcophagi have been found, along with other human and animal remains which were added later. It is believed that the catacombs were only intended for a single family, but it is unclear why the site was expanded in order to house numerous other individuals. The Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa is, according to some lists, also one of the seven medieval wonders of the world. One of the more gruesome features of the catacombs is the so called Hall of Caracalla. According to tradition, this is a mass burial chamber for the humans and animals massacred by order of the Emperor Caracalla.

Wonder: Kom el Shoqafa Catacombs 
Region: Alexandria 
Visitable: Yes 

The Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa is a multi level labyrinth featuring dozens of chambers adorned with sculpted pillars, statues and other Romano Egyptian religious symbols, burial niches and sarcophagi

Wonder type: Middle Ages Wonder National Wonder

Located in Rhakolis a fishing village in the old part of Alexandria City in Egypt; the catacombs survived due to its advantageous location to the historical turmoil taken place during the past centuries has either eliminated much of the rich monuments. The underground tunnels dates back to the 1st century AD and was used until the 4th century AD. On 28th September 1900, according to popular belief, a donkey cart fell into a pit which led to the discovery of the catacombs. But the reality is that Said Ali Jibarah, an Alexandrian man, was quarrying for stone when he broke open the vault of a subterranean tomb.
Probably the catacombs were used for a single wealthy family as a private tomb and later converted to a public cemetery. They are composed of a three levels; the first level consists of a vestibule with a double exedra, a rotunda and a big dinning-table with chairs at three sides (triclinium), including a platform for funeral rituals; in an original state, the second level was the main tomb with various surrounding corridors, magnificent statues, decorations on all proper places, images, ornate carvings and practically everything needed for a funeral hall; the third level is submerged in ground water, also saturated with sand. The large number of grooves cut in the rock is known as “loculi”. The complex contained over one hundred loculi numerous rock-cut sarcophagus tombs, in its final stage.

Representing an integration of the cultures and traditions of the Egyptians, the cemetery is unique both for their plan and decoration. People seemed to have a talent for combining rather than destroying, so in this place we find decorations related to ancient an Egyptian theme which makes them quite unlike anything in the world.

The Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa may not be as famous or visible as the Pyramids but they are equally astonishing and perhaps more intriguing than the Pyramids.

In olden days Christians of the Roman Empire this subterranean funeral halls were resorted to bury their dead and evade desecration by the oppressive regimes. Kom el Shoqafa structures were Pagan sects. The members of the Pharoah-Cult placed the intact dead bodies in this place because they believed in rebirths.

Considered by archaeologist and all who love their heritage and history, a real treasure by its scripts written, the motif, the engravings, statues and even the coffins. In a sense catacombs were an escape to the oppressed and the hunted to preserve their rituals and heritage.

Current State:

Because the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa were covered over for so many centuries, they have been left in much the same state as when they were built. Visitors can still walk down the spiral staircase that leads onto the tombs, and see the well down the middle of these stairs where bodies were carefully lowered to their burial site. Even the designs on the walls when you reach the chamber below is still intact and certainly reminiscent of 1st century AD Egyptian style.

On this first level lies a banquet hall where the living would feast and remember the recently deceased. Also here is the gruesome Hall of Caraculla mass burial chamber where both people and animals were buried followed their death at the hands of Emperor Caracula. On a lower level, down another set of spiral stairs however, is a chamber adorned with sculptures and statues. Here there are the three sarcophagi and around the edge of this chamber there are 91 separate wall sarcophagi; each of which would fit three mummified corpses.

Considering they are many hundreds of years old, the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa are in incredibly good condition, and they are a great testament to the architectural style of the time.

How to Get There:

For anyone who wishes to visit these eerie, yet fascinating and awe inspiring catacombs, travel is easy. Alexandria has its very own airport (known as either Nhouza airport or Alexandria Internation airport) so you can fly directly to the area.

From the airport you can take a taxi to your hotel and then a minibus to the catacombs themselves, or alternatively one of the many double decker buses that operate in the city. Public transport is certainly recommended, as this is a tourist area where buses and trams are prevalent, and also shield you from the hot sun that you shouldn’t walk in for too long. The extensive tram network is, in fact, the oldest in Africa.

Where to Stay:

Because Alexandria is a main city in Egypt and one with a busy port, there is no shortage of budget, mid range and luxury hotels.

If you’re on a tight budget then try the Radisson Blu Hotel a little further out of the centre of the city, where rooms start at just $141 per night, or perhaps the Sheraton Hotel Montazah at $120 per night. For a great mid-range hotel, try the Sofitel Cecil Alexandria where rates are usually around $226 per night and finally, for a luxury stay take a look at the Four Seasons Hotel where the average room price is $530 per night.