more photos

[ 1 ] [ 2 ]

site details

part of the theatre site
0900-1600 daily
0900-1500 ramadan
E£ 6 entry
E£3 students
camera free
E£150 camcorder

relevant links

travelogue 2/23


32nd Dynasty

Alexander the Great


Previous Next

this site

roman baths
villa of the birds
caracalla tombs
catacombs of

bibliotheca alexandrina
montazah palace

pompey's pillar
qaitbay fort
roman excavation
roman theatre


by site
by city
by day


Villa of the Birds

Down below the amphitheater, and rarely visited (we had to find a caretaker to open the house for us) is a small, carefully restored Roman home. It is part of a roman residential area that has been under excavation for nearly half a century, revealing streets and shops and houses. The ruins here date from the reign of Hadrian.

This house is called the Villa of the Birds because of the large mosaic in the middle of the main room, with a dozen birds in brilliant colors.

peacocks and other colorful birds in the main room

This particular house is a small one, but the floors are covered in delicate mosaics, a different one in every room. This must have been a richer neighborhood in Roman Alexandria -- the ruins of the rest of the residential area is outside.

excavating the roman residential area near the villa

We're used to seeing mosaics on the wall or protected by red-velvet ropes in a museum -- the idea that people used to walk on these hard 'rugs' is a bit hard to comprehend. The workmanship is fine and delicate, and the restoration work has been very sensitive.

geometric patterns in one of the small rooms

abydos Previous Monument roman baths
[ 1 ] [ 2 ]

© 2003-2005 r. fingerson
send me a note!