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Citadel of Salah El Din

The citadel in Cairo is one of the most important city attractions. The castle of impressive size was erected by Sultan Saladdin in the XII century. The main objective of this building was to protect the Old City from enemies.

The Egyptian Sultan, together with his successors, used the southern part of the citadel as the official royal residence, and the northern part as a military garrison. In addition, many other palaces and mosques have been erected in the Cairo fortress, well-preserved to date.

The citadel consisted of watchtowers, the main building and the gate. The city gates were built at different times. Cairo Citadel had a very good location, so that it was virtually inaccessible to the invaders. During the reign of the Ottoman Empire, the residence of the Turkish viceroy was located in the citadel.

Nowadays practically nothing has been preserved from the original Cairo citadel, except for a part of the fortress wall and Boer-Yusuf. The most prominent attraction of the citadel is the mosque of Muhammad Ali, built in the nineteenth century. The huge main dome of the mosque, whose height is 52 m, dominates over the entire Old Town. Under Ottoman law, it was forbidden to build a mosque with more than one minaret. But the mosque of Muhammad has two minarets, which proves the intention of Muhammad Ali to no longer submit to Istanbul.

On the south side of the Mohammed mosque is the Al-Gawhara Palace, which was used as a museum of jewels. Today, the palace has a historical museum, which houses a portrait gallery and stores items of royal furniture. In the northern part of the citadel was a military unit and a prison. Also behind the mosque you can see the famous Joseph’s Well.

Every year thousands of tourists from around the world come to admire the remains of the once great and invincible citadel.

The Citadel of Salah al-Din is one of the most important landmarks of Islamic Cairo, and one of the most luxurious war castles built in the Middle Ages, and its strategic location on the top of Mokattam Mountain provided a wonderful view of all the landmarks of historic Cairo, and the strong walls around the Islamic capitals of Egypt, along with the castle, provided further protection against the siege.

Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi began the construction of this castle over the Mokattam Mountain (572-579 AH / 1171-1193 AD) in a location known as the Air Dome, but he did not complete it in his life, and Sultan Al-Kamil bin Al-Adil (604 AH / 1207 AD) completed it, so he was the first to inhabit it and take it as a house Of the king, and it remained the seat of the rule of Egypt until the reign of Khedive Ismail, who transferred the seat of government to the Abdin Palace in the Khedivial Cairo district in the mid-nineteenth century.

The castle witnessed many historical events from the time of the Crusades until the end of the Muhammad Ali family (1220-1264 AH / 1805-1848 AD), which took over the rule of Egypt from the nineteenth century until the revolution of July 1952 AD.

The castle includes many Islamic monuments that have been added throughout the ages, which provides visitors today with a range of places that can be visited, the most important of which are: the Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha, the most prominent building inside the castle, the Mosque of Al-Nasir Muhammad bin Qalawun (718 AH / 1318 AD), and the Mosque of Suleiman Pasha al-Khadim ( Hegira 935 / AD 1528), Bir Youssef, in addition to a number of museums such as the Police Museum, the Jawhara Palace Museum, the Royal Vehicles Museum, and the Military Museum




Mohamed Ali Mosque

The mosque of Muhammad Ali was built between 1830 and 1848 and is located in the Cairo Citadel. It was built in memory of his beloved son, who died at the age of 22.

“Here is the tomb of Muhammad Ali himself, who died in 1849. His body was transferred here in 1857. The burial sarcophagus is made of very valuable Carrara marble brought from Italy.

»The mosque is located on the highest point of the city and is visible from all parts of the city. Very beautiful colorful construction that crowns a large dome with a height of 52 meters and a diameter of 21 meters with two high pointed minarets.

Mohamed Ali Mosque

“Inside is a huge prayer hall (1600 sq.m)

»The entire building, both outside and inside, is decorated with patterned stone carvings. In the courtyard of the temple built a clock tower. This watch was donated by Louis Philippe, King of France.

“The mosque is the main attraction of Cairo, so all tourists, even women, are allowed to enter here, subject to the dress code.