Alexandria is the greatest second city of Egypt and it has a very significant architecture and infra-structure where buildings are really incredible. Influenced by Roman architecture such as the Ancient ruins of the Roman Amphitheatre, Royal complexion such as the Montaza Palaces, or even on the new modern building facades. It's just Beautiful!
The Qaitbay Fort is one of the major historic military construction sites which has been ordered to rise in protection of Egypt against the Turks (Ottoman) during the times of Mamluke Qaitbay in Alexandria. Sometimes they call it ‘Qaitbay Citadel’ instead of Qaitbay Fort. During the reign of Mamluke Sultan El-Ashraf Sayf El-Din Qaitbay, he founded the fort in the 15th C. as a defensive fortress on the Northern coast of the whole Mediterranean Sea on the Eastern Island of Pharos upon the ruins of the old Light House of Alexandria that got destroyed in an earthquake in the 14th Century.
On the entrance, you can actually see the citadel looking like a huge big cubed box fortress, covering the whole four direction view over the sea, Magnificent!
The Citadel’s construction took Mamluk Sultan Qaitbay two years of work, and it consists of three major functional architecture plans. Two walls divided into an inner wall and an external one. The inner wall was employed for soldier lodgings and ammunition stores while the external one connected all four defensive towers on each corner of the Citadel and finally the inner tower, or in other words the heart of the fort is built up of three floors.
Although the Qaitbay Citadel has been subjected to severe danger during the British bombardment in 1882 that attacked Alexandria, the Egyptian Antiquities Organization had done quite an enormous job restoring it back in 1984.
Upon entrance the whole court is landscaped with greenery and model cannons of weapons escorting you to the main gate of the fortress building. You’ll find a mosque built in Moroccan ceramics. On the three levels of the Citadel, there are huge corridors with small openings and windows for a panoramic sea view, where huge ships and yachts seem to be so tiny! On the corners of the first level there are semicircular towers that acted as a small closed balcony for soldiers to throw dart on their enemies. Second level contained corridors, windows and rooms, and on the third level the main vault of the sultan was established for his guarding seat where he used to watch all the boats coming from afar.
The best place to go to while you're at the Citadel is to go high up on the outer wall (fence) of the fort where you can enjoy the open sea horizon. Actually my favorite view of all was the rocks around the citadel where fishermen go fish around this amazing spot. It’s a good relaxing place with great photos captured.
The Citadel is found at the district of ‘El Anfoushy’ in Alexandria and opening hours from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm during working in days. You can actually take that day tour after visiting the Venue of Written History, Alexandria Library on the same day.
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