222 Route 1.
will be preferred by those who wish to inspect the fragments of
statues and half-excavated ruins of buildings lying scattered
about the fields.
A few paces from the station of the direct or English line to Ram¬
leh, and close to the sea, rises the so-called Roman Tower (PI. 44), which,
however, seems to be of Arabian origin. It was adjoined, down to March
1880, by the famous obelisk called Cleopatra's Needle, which vied with
Pompey's Column in general interest as a monument of antiquity. One
of the last acts of the Khedive Isma'il was to present this obelisk to the
city of New York. Both the native and foreign residents of Alexandria
looked on with indignation while this interesting relic was raised by
American machinery from the place it had occupied for 2000 years and
removed to the specially constructed vessel that was to convey it to New
York. Indeed it was only the public sympathy with the young Khedive
Tewfik , who looked upon the presentation as a legacy of his father's
government, that prevented a popular outbreak over this piece of vandal¬
ism. The obelisk now forms one of the prominent features of the Cen¬
tral Park in New York, where, however, it is feared that it will rapidly
become defaced by the severity of the climate. — A companion obelisk,
that lay for centuries prone in the sand by the side of Cleopatra's Needle,
now adorns the Thames Embankment at London.
The direct local railway traverses the rubbish heaps of the
ancient Nicopolis. Projecting into the sea, to the left, is the small
Fort Silseleh. We here obtain a retrospective glimpse of the sickle-
shaped S.E. side of the town.
Nicopolis, situated beyond the Hippodrome (of which no trace is
now left), about 30 stadia to the E. of the city, is said to have been 'no
smaller than a town', and received its name, 'town of victory', from
Octavian (Augustus) in memory of the victory he gained here over
Antony and his adherents. A small Temple, recently discovered close to
the sea, and to the N.W. of the ruins of the Kasr el-Kaydsereh (castle of
Csesar), the ruined walls of which have been pulled down to afford
material for the new palace of the Khedive (see below), was perhaps
also erected by Octavian on the same occasion.
To the right, skirting the Mahmudiyeh Canal, runs the Rosetta
railway (p. 447). Near the station of (4 M.) Sldi Gaber, on a slight
eminence to the left, and not far from the site of the old Roman
castle above mentioned, is a new viceroyal palace, called Mustafa
Pasha. The Catacombs situated to the N.E. of this point are almost
entirely destroyed. The train now passes a series of villas and
gardens full of luxuriant vegetation, the most attractive of which
lie beyond the fourth of the five stations.
6'/2M. Ramleh (i.e. 'sand') is a modern place, consisting chiefly
of numerous country-houses (Pensions Beausejour and Miramare,
both good), some of which are occupied by Alexandrian families
throughout the whole year. It possesses waterworks of its own, which
greatly facilitate horticulture. On the way to the sea the traveller
will observe a few relics of the Greek and Roman periods.
From Alexandria to Ramleh by the Rosetta Railway, and thence
via Abukir to Rosetta, see p. 447.