Sultans Qaitbay Fort in Alexandria

There is no shortage of places in Egypt to visit, things to do, new and exquisite local cuisine to try out, and warm, heartfelt local companionship and hospitality. Filled with attractions such as the Pyramids of Giza, mighty sphinx statue, the wet and east banks of the Nile, the many Nile Cruises 2020 amongst others. One attraction that although is as important as all the aforementioned seems to be occasionally forgotten is the Citadel of Quaitbay in Alexandria. Originally built as a defensive fortress on the costs of the Mediterranean, now functioning as a tourist attraction. Today we will dive into and explore the location, History and construction of the Qaitbay fort in Alexandria,

 

  • Location of Qautbay 
  • History of Qauitbay 
  • The Construction of Qauitbay

 

Location of the citadel of Qaitbay:

 

Evidently, the Qaiitbay fort is located in Egypt more specifically coastal city of Alexandria located in the southern coat of the Mediterranian. Established back in 1477 AD by Sultan Al-Ashraf al-Din Quit Bay the citadel of Qaitbay remains a landmark of the Picturesque Alexandria and an essential part of any trip to Egypt.

 

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Sultans Qaitbay Fort in Alexandria

 

History of Qaitba  Fort:

 

The Citadel of Qaitbay is located at the eastern harbour of the eastern point of Pharos island and on the exact site of the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria. After Restorations done to the Lighthouse, it was taken down by a heavy earthquake which was the last of the famous lighthouse. In around 1480AD and under the order of the Circassian & mameluke Sultan Al Ashraf Qaitbay Fortifications in the current place of the Citadel for the purpose of defence against the Turks. The Citadel of Qaitbay functioned throughout the Mameluke, Ottoman and modern period afterwards neglected by the British bombardment of Alexandria to taking back the spotlight in the 20th century with several restorations done to the Qaitbay Fort. 

The Story of Sultan Al Ashraf Qaitbay, the man responsible for building the Citadel of Qaitbay is in itself astounding. Coming to Egypt as a young man he was bought, resold and then given his freedom. After gaining his freedom Qaitbay continued to occupy various state positions from the chief of the Army to the ruling Sultan. The attention given to the Citadel of Qaitbay varied after the 29-year rule of Qaittbay with some golden eras for the cathedral within them such as the reign of Mohamed Aly, Sultan Qanush Al-Ghuri are examples of the aforementioned era. Finally, in the 2oth century, the Qaitbay fort was front and centre again with the ministery of defence restoring the upper floors and its transformation into a maritime museum beside the Sea. 
 

 

History of Qaitba  Fort:

 

The Citadel of Qaitbay is located at the eastern harbour of the eastern point of Pharos island and on the exact site of the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria. After Restorations done to the Lighthouse, it was taken down by a heavy earthquake which was the last of the famous lighthouse. In around 1480AD and under the order of the Circassian & mameluke Sultan Al Ashraf Qaitbay Fortifications in the current place of the Citadel for the purpose of defence against the Turks. The Citadel of Qaitbay functioned throughout the Mameluke, Ottoman and modern period afterwards neglected by the British bombardment of Alexandria to taking back the spotlight in the 20th century with several restorations done to the Qaitbay Fort. 

 

The Story of Sultan Al Ashraf Qaitbay, the man responsible for building the Citadel of Qaitbay is in itself astounding. Coming to Egypt as a young man he was bought, resold and then given his freedom. After gaining his freedom Qaitbay continued to occupy various state positions from the chief of the Army to the ruling Sultan. The attention given to the Citadel of Qaitbay varied after the 29-year rule of Qaittbay with some golden eras for the cathedral within them such as the reign of Mohamed Aly, Sultan Qanush Al-Ghuri are examples of the aforementioned era. Finally, in the 2oth century, the Qaitbay fort was front and centre again with the ministery of defence restoring the upper floors and its transformation into a maritime museum beside the Sea. 
 

Sultans Qaitbay Fort in Alexandria


The Construction of Qaitbay: 

 

Sultan Qaitbay was a passionate fond of art and architecture leading him to create a highly important position in the administrative system. This position was called the Edificies Mason who at the time was Qagmas Al-Eshaqy who had built several beneficial institutions in countries such as Mecca and Damascus one of which was the Qaitbay Fort. Not only was Qagmas Al-Eshaqy responsible for many of the structures created in the time of Qaitbay, but he was also an extremely modest and clever man and its also said that Qaitbay himself spent over a hundred thousand golden dinars.

 

It is believed that the construction of the coastal fort started in the month of Rabi Alawal 882H. It is believed that during a visit for qaitBay to Alexandria and see the lighthouse, he ordered the building of the citadel. Qaitbay would visit the site again in the month of Shaaban 884 H which is when the construction would be finished.  

 

Nowadays the citadel of Qaitbay is a highly sought out and picturesque tourist attraction. With little emphasis on its once military and Strategic role, the Qaitbay fort had undertaken several restorations in the twentieth century now serving as a maritime museum.

 

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