The Lighthouse of Alexandria was located on the ancient island of Pharos, just off the coast of the Egyptian city of Alexandria. Designed by Sostratus of Cnidus in the third century B.C., construction of the lighthouse did not begin until 305 B.C., during the rule of Ptolemy Soter.
The lighthouse, constructed of large blocks of stones, reached a height of about 400 feet and was one of the tallest structures created by man for many centuries. Initially the structure was intended only as a landmark for ships attempting to navigate into the harbor at Alexandria, but in the first century, the Romans transformed it into a lighthouse by lighting a fire at night and using reflecting mirrors during the day.
After 16 centuries guiding ships to safety, two earthquakes severely damaged the revered lighthouse. And in 1480, the Sultan of Egypt, Qaitbay, razed the remaining ruins and built a medieval fort on the site incorporating some of the original stone from the lighthouse.