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The Citadel of Qaitbey | Qaitbey Citadel | Things to do in Alexandria

  • 05 16, 2023

The Citadel of Qaitbey 

The Citadel of Qaitbey was built in the 15th century on Pharos island, where the Pharos Lighthouse of Alexandria stood, it was built on the ruins of the ancient Lighthouse of Alexandria which is a unique location, overlooking the Port of Alexandria

Sultan al-Ashraf Abu al-Nasr Qaytbay began the construction of this castle in the year 882 AH in the place of the ancient lighthouse of Alexandria, which was destroyed after the devastating earthquake that occurred in the year 702 AH during the reign of Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad ibn Qalawun.

Qaitbey Citadel 

Some of Citadel of Qaitbay facts that in 1480 the great Mamluk sultan Qaitbey started to use solid stones to establish his fortress for defense against the ottomans, it suffered from the heavy naval attack by the British armies, after which it was largely rebuilt again. It houses a small naval museum inside it. The citadel of Qaitbey had a very important role during the British occupation of Egypt as the British soldiers came through the Mediterranean sea and the Egyptians defend the country from the citadel against the British navy in the 19th century

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Things to do in Alexandria

To enter, you will have to go through a door built from large granite parts, most probably obtained from the ancient lighthouse. Inside, on three floors, it is possible to appreciate numerous artifacts and aquatic finds, including some objects belonging to Napoleon's fleet which sunk in Alexandria's enlargement with an extraordinary naval strategist by Admiral Nelson in 1798. 
A big part of the fortress was used as a mosque and for four centuries the walls were dominated by the minaret until it was destroyed by the English navy. It is considered the oldest mosque ever built in Alexandria, but it is no longer in use. Dear visitors, Egypt is a land that has shaped the world through its history.


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citadel, fortified structure that is often located within a city or town. While designed to protect or subjugate social groups, citadels often played a significant role in shaping culture. The word is from the Latin civitas ( “citizenship,” “the state,” or “city”) via the Italian cittadella (“small city”).


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