Qaitbay Citadel Facts | Citadel of Qaitbay Architecture
Qaitbay citadel Alexandria Egypt
Qaitbay citadel Alexandria Egypt is have been built on the site of the Alexandria Lighthouse, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Lighthouse of Alexandria was built between 297 and 283 B.C. during the reign of Ptolemy II on the island of Pharos connected to the mainland by the Heptastadion, a dike seven stadiums long, about 1344 meters
Citadel of Qaitbay history
The Qaytbay Citadel was built between 1478 and 1480 with stones from the ruins of the Lighthouse of Alexandria. In order to protect Alexandria from Ottoman attacks, the Mamluk Sultan of Egypt better known as Sultan Qaytbay ordered the construction of the fort on the island of Pharos.
The citadel surrounded by massive walls on the seafront houses a three-story, square-shaped fort with four round defensive towers at the four corners. Inside we will discover what was once a mosque and its qibla which indicates the direction of Mecca. The cross-shaped prayer hall is illuminated by a dome that lights up the beautiful mosaics on the floor.
Occupied until 1984 by the Egyptian army, the Qaytbay Citadel now houses the institute and the hydrobiological museum.
Description of Qaitbay Citadel
The main entrance faces the road coming from the city, although it is now entered through a side door. The walls are 2 m thick and rise 8 m above the ground. It is intersected by three semicircular towers. In its northern part it is much wider, and both the terraces and the lower gallery, which is completely covered, housed cannons designed to repel undesirables from the entrance to the port that the citadel commanded. A large esplanade separates the western and southern walls of the tower.