Well, you can. Sort of.
Today's visitor to Alexandria, Egypt can visit the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, a modern-day recreation of the great library of the ancients. And this creation is definitely worth a visit. But for those who can't toddle off to Egypt this week, I offer here a photo tour instead.
One can spend an hour or more exploring the breathtaking architecture of the library. The building is modern and imposing, and it was designed to appear as if the library is sinking into the sea - a nod to the loss of its ancient counterpart. Indeed, one must cross a short bridge to access the library, passing by the "sinking" dome and approaching the tall structure.
|The Library at Alexandria, Egypt|
|The Sinking Library|
|Waking Across the Bridge to the Library|
The dome of the planetarium is prominently visible from the outside (although no photos were allowed from the inside!) Here we see the planetarium dome and the library's bust of Alexander the Great.
|Planetarium of the Library|
|Bust of Alexander the Great with Planetarium Dome|
The library features several tributes to the science of the ancients, including a planetarium, a History of Science Museum, and this marble sundial (below.)
|Arabic and English Descriptions of Sundial|
|English Description of Sundial|
The interior of the library is bright and modern, taking advantage of the Mediterranean sun as a natural light source through a crystalline network of windows. The "library" is so much more than a library, featuring several art galleries, an IMAX theater, a museum of antiquities, an Alexandria and Mediterranean research center, and a center for Hellenistic studies, among many other resources.
|Interior of the Library|
|The Library at Dusk|