I almost never even try to build the Great Lighthouse in Civ. It is practically useless. Its bonuses: +1 movement, +1 sight for naval units, and it counts as a lighthouse. While it may be the most appropriate bonus for a wonder to real life I am immensely underwhelmed. I think the bonus could be beefed up a little somehow. Maybe it could reveal map tiles within a certain radius of the city that built it and have no fog of war in that area. That could be pretty neat.
You can still visit the Great Lighthouse in Alexandria by going to the bay and seeing nothing. Yup. It doesn’t exist anymore, which is actually quite sad because the artist renditions of it throughout history are spectacular. Interestingly enough you can see several artist portrayals of the Great Lighthouse across the bay at the other Wonder in Alexandria – the Great Library, but that’s for another post.
If you are in Alexandria I definitely suggest that you still go to where the lighthouse used to be because in its stead you will find an awesome citadel – Qaitbay Fort. Those who know me well know of my dreams to build my own castle one day (lofty sure but a man must dream). I even have my own designs that I have worked on and tweaked over the years. I was stunned when I walked through the gatehouse of Qaitbay and looked up to the keep of my dreams standing tall in real life. The keep of Qaitbay Fort is almost exactly like the keep of my designs, externally at least.
When visiting Qaitbay Fort I suggest you leave yourself 1 or 2 hours to walk it and really enjoy it. Also they close at 4pm so don’t show up at 3:30 like we did (we thought it closed at 5). Thirty minutes isn’t enough time to really see it all. You can explore the multiple floors of the keep itself, the underground coastal passages, the courtyard, and get up on the walls for some truly breathtaking views of the Mediterranean. While Qaitbay isn’t a Wonder it is still worth a visit in my book.