Qaitbay Citadel; The Eastern Harbour is dominated by Fort Qaitbey, which looks like something out of a fairy tale. It was built on the ruins of the renowned Pharos lighthouse by the Mamluk sultan Qaitbey in AD 1480 on a small peninsula on the orders of the Mamluk ruler Qaitbey.
It took an earthquake to ultimately bring down the lighthouse, which had been in operation for more than 17 centuries. It had been in ruins for more than 100 years when Qaitbey ordered the fortification of the city’s waterfront.
Where is this citadel located?
The fortress is located at the entrance to the port of Alexandria in Egypt, on what was once the island that housed the famous lighthouse of Alexandria, which now forms a peninsula that divides
the port into its eastern and western parts.
Who built the qaitbay citadel?
The fortress was built on the orders of Sultan Al-Ashraf Abu Alnasr Saif El Din Qaitibay, who came to Egypt as a slave when he was almost 20 years old and rose to power during the Mamluk period.
Why was the citadel of qaitbay built?
It was built as an element for the defense of the city and the Mediterranean coast during the 1480s. Sultan Quaitbay ordered its construction on the same site where the lighthouse was built one day, taking advantage of its remains. Its defensive architecture and its strategic position give it great relevance.
During the British invasion of 1882, it suffered severe damage due to the bombardment of English ships, but a short time later, it was rebuilt. Today it is a beautiful walk that the city’s inhabitants and tourists take advantage of to enjoy the sunsets, the sea breeze in the hot months, and the views of the city. It houses a maritime museum and an aquarium.
What is the Citadel of Qaitbay made of?
The material from the collapsed Pharos was reused, and if you walk near the outside walls, you can see some magnificent pillars of red granite, which are certainly remnants of the old lighthouse that once stood here.
Other fragments of the old structure may be found dispersed throughout the adjacent seafloor.
Following a recent renovation, the fort has reopened its doors to the general public. A pleasant stroll is provided, and the view over the port is breathtaking, with a backdrop of colorful bobbing fishing boats in the front and,
in the distance, the sunlike disc of the newly constructed library. In addition, there is a bustling seafood market nearby.
Walking along the Corniche from Midan Ramla takes between 30 and 45 minutes. Alternatively, take the yellow tram 15 from Midan Ramla or flag down one of the many microbuses that ply the Corniche every few minutes.
What is the architecture of the Citadel of Qaitbay?
The castle has a square shape and a 150-meter area, surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea. The first floor contains a mosque and a defense hall that allow soldiers to pass quickly and defend the walls during wars; the second floor contains chambers and halls, and the third floor consists of a huge throne chamber where Qaitbay sultan used to watch the sailing ships toward Alexandria shores.
Additionally, the third floor has an oven for making wheat bread for
Qaitbay Citadel History
Qaitbay Citadel on the ruins of one of the Seven Wonders of the World
The place of Qaitbay Castle was Alexandria’s lighthouse, considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The lighthouse was built during the Ptolemaic era and lasted for many centuries until it was demolished due to earthquakes in Egypt during the Middle Ages. When it was completely demolished during the reign of the Circassian Mamluk state, Sultan Al-Ashraf Qaitbay decided to build a Defensive castle on its ruins, taking advantage of this excellent defensive place.
The citadel replaces it. The lighthouse’s height is almost 150 meters, it was dedicated to Poseidon, the god of the sea known to the Greeks, and it was decorated with marble statues; the lighthouse was considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, mainly because was designed to guide mariners and sailors, but unfortunately was destroyed by the earth wake, in 1477 Qaitbay sultan built his military castle on the ruins of the old lighthouse, and some said that the light