Bab Al Futuh in Cairo

A large open gate similar to the style of the North African Medina entrances dating back to the Ottoman periods. An interesting structure which to this day, still holds an annual festival related to celebrating the Hajj in the Muslim calendar. 


In the Old Cairo district along side several sites of interest and in easy reach by 30 minutes to Downtown and Central Cairo. 


The Bab al Futuh (Open Gate), drawing vast crowds to witness the arrival of the Mahmal, a decorative camel litter symbolizing the sultan’s participation in the hajj. Islamic pageantry is still manifest during the Mouldid of Sidi Ali al Bayoumi, in early October, when the Rifai brotherhood parades behind its mounted sheikh with scarlet banners flying. The procession starts from El-Hussein, passes through the Bab al-Futuh and north along Sharia Husseiniya, where locals bombard the sheikh and his red turbaned followers with huge sweets called arwah.
The Northern Walls are in principle accessible from Al-Hakim’s Mosque, but closed at time of writing for restoration. When they reopen, you can gain admission to a prison in the dark interior, where the custodian will point out archer’s slits and bombardier’s apertures, shafts for pouring boiling oil onto enemies entering through the Bab al-Futuh below, and bits of Pharaonic masonry (featuring Ramses II’s cartouche and a hippo) filched from Memphis. The ceiling of the two hundred metre tunnel is vaulted, which allowed mounted guards passage through. At its end lies a cavernous judgement room where the condemned, if found guilty, were hanged immediately, their corpses dumped through a hole in the floor, into the moat.
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