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Alexandria (Cairo), Egypt

Alexander the Great founded this city, but never lived to see it. When he took Egypt from the Persians in 332 BC, he decided to move the capital from Memphis to the Mediterranean, and leaving instructions with his architect, traveled on to Asia where he died. Egypt passed under the control of his general, Ptolemy I, who made Alexandria a great intellectual center. The city was designed with grand proportions, and its lighthouse, the Pharos, was a beacon to all. The Mouseion, where the word "museum" originates, included laboratories, observatories and a vast library. With the fall of the Ptolemy dynasty, Alexandria slumbered in obscurity until revived as an international seaport.