the modern city, stands, not exactly on the site of the old one, but partly on what was the island of Pharos, now a peninsula, and mostly on the isthmus by which the island is connected with the mainland. This isthmus was originally an artificial dike connecting the island with the shore; but through the accumulated rubbish of ages it has now become a broad strip. The principal public and government buildings are on the peninsula, but the residences, squares, and business part are on the mainland. The general appearance of Alexandria is by no means striking; and, from its situation, its environs are sandy, flat, and sterile. In the Turkish quarter the streets are narrow, irregular, and filthy, and the houses mean and ill-built; the Frankish quarter, on the other hand, presents the appearance of a European town, having handsome streets and squares and excellent shops. Great improvements have taken place under the native Egyptian rule. The principal hotels, shops, and offices are situated in the Great Square, which is planted with trees and contains a fountain. In the suburbs are numerous handsome villas and pleasant gardens.
The only surviving remains of the ancient city are a few cisterns still in use; the catacombs on the shore west of the city; the red granite or syenite obelisk of Thothmes III, with its fallen fellow, brought thither from Heliopolis, and usually called Cleopatra's Needles (lately removed, the one to London and the other to New York); and the Column of Diocletian, more commonly known as Pompey's Pillar. In 1854, while preparations were going on for the erection of new buildings, the workmen came upon ancient massive foundations which are supposed to have been the remains of the building of the celebrated Alexandrian Library. See Murray, Handbook for Egypt, p. 75 sq.; Badeker, Lower Egypt, p. 201 sq.