Catacombs Of Kom El Shoqafa

Exploring Alexandria’s Hidden Gem

The second-largest city in Egypt, Alexandria, is renowned for its extensive cultural legacy and historical importance. The Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa, a collection of tombs and burial chambers that date back to the second century AD, are among the city’s most intriguing sights.

The catacombs were unintentionally found by a donkey in the early 20th century and are situated in Alexandria’s Karmouz neighborhood. The network of underground graves that had been concealed for centuries were disclosed by the finding, which was important.

History of the Catacombs

Around the second century AD, during the Roman era, is when the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa are said to have been constructed. A rich family had the graves built, and they were utilised for numerous generations. Up to the fourth century AD, when they were abandoned, the tombs were still in use.

Before a donkey accidently discovered the tombs in 1900, they were unknown for many years. A team of archaeologists conducted the first formal excavation in 1947, which revealed the whole scope of the subterranean structure.

Catacombs Of Kom El Shoqafa

Architecture of the Catacombs

The Kom El Shoqafa Catacombs are an intricate system of tombs and burial chambers with many levels of subterranean corridors and rooms. Three major floors of the building are joined by a spiral staircase.

The complex’s spiral staircase leads to the first floor, where there is access to the catacombs. Large hall on the ground floor, said to have been used for funeral processions and other festivities. Intricate sculptures and carvings that combine Roman and Egyptian styles fill the hall.

The burial rooms are located in the second level of the catacombs. Extensive frescoes and mosaics adorn the rooms, which are cut out of the rock. With niches for the deceased and little spaces for the gifts, the tombs are uniquely constructed.

The Hall of Caracalla is located on the third level of the catacombs, which makes it the most intriguing. The catacombs are thought to have been visited by the Roman emperor Caracalla during his reign, and the hall bears his name. Complex carvings and sculptures that represent episodes from Egyptian and Roman mythology fill the hall.

Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa

Visiting the Catacombs

Visitors may gain a comprehensive understanding of Alexandria’s history and architecture by seeing the catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa, which are available to the public. Visitors can use a cab or a car to go to the catacombs, which are in the Karmouz neighbourhood.

A tiny structure that includes a museum and a ticket office serves as the entry to the catacombs. Pottery, sculptures, and jewellery are among the artefacts on show in the museum that were found during the excavations.

While it is possible to visit the catacombs on foot, it is recommended that you hire a guide because the underground complex can be challenging to understand. Due to the numerous congested corridors and steep staircases, the catacombs are not ideal for anyone with mobility problems or claustrophobia.


A fascinating site in Alexandria, the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa provide a singular look into the history and architecture of the city. The subterranean complex is a well-kept secret and a must-see for anybody with an interest in history or archaeology.

The catacombs serve as a reminder of the city’s crucial role in ancient Egyptian history and a tribute to Egypt’s rich cultural legacy.