Qaitbay Citadel

Qaitbay citadel is a magical defensive fortress was built in the 15th century and it is located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in Alexandria, on the eastern side of the northern tip of Pharos Island at the mouth of the Eastern Harbour. It was built by Sultan Al-Ashraf Sayf al-Din Qa’it Bay in 1477 A.D. He established the citadel to defend the city of Alexandria from the advances of the Ottoman Empire but his efforts went in vain, as they put control over Egypt in 1512 A.D. Though our article, you will discover amazing facts about Qaitbay citadel including:

The current form of the fortress is not the original one as it was damaged during the British Bombardment over Alexandria in 1882 and it was rebuilt at the beginning of the 20th century. Qa’it Bay actually chose the location of the citadel that was the site of the legendary Pharos Lighthouse, which was damaged in the 14th century by earthquakes. King Farouk wanted to turn the citadel into a palace in 1904 but the Egyptian Navy turned it into a Maritime Museum. The citadel houses a small naval museum.

The History of Qaitbay Citadel

Qaitbay Citadel History - Trips in Egypt

Qaitbay citadel has an interesting history that links it to the unique Lighthouse of Alexandria. So let’s take some time to speak about this mesmerizing lighthouse. The Lighthouse was considered to be one of the seven wonders of the world and it kept having its function until the Arab Conquest in addition to other natural disasters, which changed the shape of the lighthouse. An earthquake occurred in the 11th century and its octagonal part was damaged. They built a mosque on the top of the lighthouse but another earthquake happened that destroyed the whole building.

The Circassian Mameluke Sultan Al-Ashraf Qaitbay was one of the most prominent mameluk sultans ruling for about 29 years. He decided to build the citadel to defend the place against the Turks, who were threatening Egypt at that time. He built his great fortress and placed a mosque inside and the citadel continued to function during the Mameluke and the Ottoman periods but it was kept out of the spotlight in 1882 after the British Bombardment of Alexandria city.

The Description of Qaitbay Citadel

Qaitbay Citadel Description - Trips in Egypt

Qaitbay citadel was designed in the square shape with many chambers, towers, and walls. The Inner walls of the citadel, which were constructed with solid rocks, contain the barrack of the soldiers and the weapons’ storage rooms. The Outer walls contain four defensive walls to protect the citadel. The main tower of the citadel consists of three floors. The first floor contains the mosque of the citadel with four small iwans and a terrific Mehrab. On the second floor, there are many passageways, large halls, and many chambers, which had many purposes.

The Construction of Qaitbay Citadel

Qaitbay Citadel Construction - Trips in Egypt

The establishment of the fortress started in the month of Rabi Al Awal, 882. Sultan Qaitbay visited the site of the ancient lighthouse with some Mamluke princes and decided to build the great Citadel of Alexandria. The construction was finished in the month of Shaban 884. The Sultan provided the fort with some soldiers and weapons. He also dedicated many waqfs and he used them to finance the construction works and the salaries of the soldiers. Rulers who came after Qaitbay maintained the citadel very well. There was a prison inside the citadel that was constructed for the princes and the state-men whom Qaitbay wanted to keep away.

The Ottoman Threat And Lose the Importance of Citadel

When Qaitbay felt a threat from the Ottoman Empire, he ordered all his soldiers to prepare themselves, prevented weapon to be taken out of the city and he even stated the death penalty for those who steal anything from the castle. The Ottoman Turks conquered Egypt and they decided to take care of the citadel so that it becomes their shelter. The castle started to lose its importance with the decline of the Ottoman military and eventually it fell into the hands of the French troops in 1798 A.D, mainly because of the citadel garrison weakness.

The Renovation of Qaitbay Citadel

Qaitbay Citadel Renovation - Trips in Egypt

In 1805, when Mohamed Ali Pasha became the ruler of Egypt, he renewed the citadel and repaired its outer ramparts. His reign was like another golden era for the citadel. Orabi Revolt happened in 1882, and a large part of Alexandria city was damaged by the British bombardment, especially the site of the citadel. The facades in the north and the west were totally destroyed and the citadel was neglected until 1904 when the Ministry of Defense restored the Upper floors. King Farouk wanted to turn the citadel into a palace in 1904 but the Egyptian Navy turned it into a Maritime Museum.

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What Should I Wear While Being in Egypt?

You should wear whatever you want. It is advised to wear something light from cotton or linen, comfortable and put on sunblock during your time in Egypt in the summer and wear comfortable footwear like a closed-toe shoe to sustain the sandy terrain.

What to Pack for Your Egypt Tour?

You should bring a brimmed hat and sunglasses if you not used to the Egyptian sun &pack everything you could ever need and put in a small bag so you could move easily between your destinations.

Are All Nile Cruises Available at Any Time?

Yes, it is available all years. as the Nile from Aswan to Luxor takes three to four days of sailing on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the total cost of 600$ and the Nile cruise from Luxor to Aswan take four to five days in Saturday, Monday and Thursday for the coast of 650$.

Why book Trips in Egypt?

We have experience in vacation planning for more than 10 years & our staff consists of the most professional operators, guides and drivers who dedicate all of their time & effort create the perfect vacation. All of our tours are customized by Travel, Financial & Time advisors to fit your every possible need during your time in egypt. we always keep in mind that your safety & comfort are our main priority until you return home.

Is it safe to travel to Egypt?

Yes, it is absolutely safe to travel to egypt, You will feel secure in Egypt as the current atmosphere of the country is very peaceful after the government took powerful measures like restructuring the entire tourist police to include all the important and tourist attractions in Egypt and construct an entire environment dedicated for ensuring the lives of all tourists.

What are Egypt's Visa Requirements?

They are very simples, If you want to apply for a Visa On Arrival that lasts for 30 days then you should be one of the eligible countries(check the link), have a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining and pay 25$ USD entry fee in cash. As for the E-Visa for 30 days, you should have a valid passport for at least 8 months, complete the online application, pay the e-visa fee then print the e-visa to later be presented to the airport border guard. You could be one of the countries eligible for a free visa for 90 days.

What is the Weather is Like?

The temperature of Egypt ranges from 37c to 14 c, Summer in Egypt is somehow hot and winter is cool and mild but sometimes it becomes cold at night. The average of low temperatures vary from 9.5 ¡ÆC in the wintertime to 23 ¡ÆC in the summertime and average high temperatures vary from 17 ¡ÆC in the wintertime to 32 ¡ÆC in the summertime while the temperature is moderate all along the coasts.

What is the Best Time of Visit Egypt?

It is known the best time to travel to Egypt is in the winter from September to April as the climate becomes a bit tropical, a warm atmosphere with a winter breeze. You will also be notified a week before your trip if the weather is unsafe or if any changes have been made.

Should I Give Tips in Egypt?

It is totally up to you, but if you choose to you can tip the servers at your restaurant 5-10% by handing it to them directly and 5 Egyptian Pounds as a general tip of anyone.

Can I Enter the Pyramids?

Yes, you can enter the pyramids for the small fee of 20$.

How to Enjoy Egypt During Ramadan?

Ramadan is a special time of year for Muslims that should be celebrated by non-Muslims and feel the essence of the Islamic culture. You can fast with the Muslim or just observe but you are always welcome to join the celebrations and festivals.

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Trips In Egypt was founded in 2002 when it launched, since then the company specialized in providing trips in Egypt only which includes tour packages, vacations, Nile cruises, day trips, shore excursions, and any kind of trips in Egypt.

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