QAITBAY FORT, EGYPT
REGARDING QAITBAY FORT:
One of Alexandria’s most popular and often visited sights is Qaitbay Fort. Additionally, it is the sole and best example of Mamluk military architecture in Egypt. It is highly recommended that visitors to Alexandria see the Qaitbay Fort. The Citadel of Qaitbay is a defensive fortification adjacent to Alexandria, Egypt, on the Mediterranean Sea coast (also known as the Fort of Qaitbay; Arabic:). Between 1477 and 1479 AD, Sultan Al-Ashraf Sayf al-Din Qait Bay constructed it (882 and 884 AH). The eastern side of Pharos Island’s northernmost point is The Citadel, which is located at the entrance to Eastern Harbour.
LIGHTHOUSE OF ALEXANDRIA:
The Citadel is near the eastern port entrance on Pharos Island’s easternmost point. It was constructed on the exact site where the famed Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, formerly stood. The lighthouse was in use up until the Arab takeover. In response to later disasters, the lighthouse had a few modest architectural adjustments but was still in operation. Restoration was first used by Ahmed Ibn Tulun (about 880 AD). The octagonal part was harmed by an earthquake that occurred in the eleventh century.
The bottom was retained but could only serve as a lookout, while the top was converted into a tiny mosque. The entire building was completely destroyed by an incredibly powerful earthquake that took place in the fourteenth century.
As part of his coastal defences against the Turks, who at the time threatened Egypt, the Circassian Mameluke Sultan Al-Ashraf Qaitbay fortified the area in 1480 AD. In addition to the fortification, he also constructed a mosque. The Mameluke, Ottoman, and Modern periods saw the most use of the Citadel, but after the British invasion on Alexandria in 1882, it was kept out of sight. As it deteriorated over the 20th century, the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities routinely rebuilt it.
According to legend, the Circassian Sultan Al-Ashraf Abou Anasr Saif El-Din Qaitbay El-Jerkasy Al-Zahiry (1468–1496 AD), who was born about 1423 AD, constructed the Citadel of Qaitbay (826 AH). He arrived in Egypt as a Mamluke who had just turned 20. He was purchased by Al-Ashraf Bersbay and remained with him until Al-Ashraf Bersbay’s passing. Qaitbay was later purchased by Sultan Jaqmaq, who later freed him. After then, Qaitbay occupied a number of positions. The Sultan Timurbugha promoted him to the position of Chief of the Army (Atabec Al-Askar).
On Monday, 26th Ragab, 872 AH, Qaitbay was chosen as the Sultan and given the title Almalek Al-Ashraf (1468 AD). He governed for about 29 years and is one of the most well-known and well-known Mameluke Sultans. A bold leader named Almalek Al-Ashraf attempted to start a new era with the Ottomans by exchanging gifts and sending diplomats. He loved to travel and participated in several well-known excursions.
THE QAITBAY FORT’S ORIGINS AND HISTORY:
The Mamluk Sultan Al Ashraf Qaitbay issued the order for the famous fort’s construction in 1477.
It was finished in 1479, two years later. Its construction was initiated in order to defend Alexandria from external dangers, particularly those posed by the Ottomans, who at the time commanded a sizable naval force.
According to Ibn Ayas, construction on the Qaitbay fort began in the month of Rabi al-Awal 882 H. He claimed that Sultan Qaitbay granted the order to construct the Citade while viewing Alexandria’s site of the former lighthouse with a small group of Mameluke princes.
In the month of Shaban 884 H, the Sultan Qaitbay returned to Alexandria as the building was being built. He gave a valiant legion of men and a variety of weapons for the fort. Ibn Ayas claims that he founded new waqfs and utilised the money they produced to pay the military and support construction projects.
The Citadel was kept in superb condition during the Mameluke dynasty due to its strategic position and all the rulers that succeeded Qaitbay.
Fortification of the garrison:
The Citadel was the Sultan Qansuh al-main Ghuri’s concern. He came back once more, this time bringing more people and more tools for the garrison. For the princes and statemen the Sultan kept away from him for any reason, it included a sizable prison. Qansuh Al-Ghouri travelled to Alexandria with other rulers beginning in the year 960 H.
APPROACH OF THE OTTOMAN THREAT:
He saw military drills and manoeuvres while they were going there, using the defensive weapons of the Citadel of Qaitbay. Sensing the Ottoman threat, he issued a military order forbidding the transfer of weapons from the Citadel and even threatened to execute anyone found trying to do so. This instruction was also written on a marble slate that was fastened to the court door. The text shown below does so: Ram-ni-ram-hi bi-smi-ll-hi We offer prayers to the incredibly merciful and loving God.
Whether they are Mameluke, Slaves, or Zarad Kashia, any member of the tower party who disobeys this (decree) and leaves the tower with something will be hanged at the tower’s gate and will experience the curse of God. This declaration was issued by Al-Ashraf Abou El-Naser Qansoh El-Ghoury, may God eternalize his dominion. It is 907 H Rabei Alawal at the moment.
Even the Ottoman Turks took care of this magnificent castle after conquering Egypt. Like they did with the Citadel of Saladin in Cairo and the Citadels of Damietta, Rosetta, Al Borollos, and El-Arish, they used it as cover. In addition to deploying soldiers, artillery, a band of musicians, including trumpeters and drummers, masons, and carpenters, they also kept it in good repair.
OTTOMAN THREAT FALLS:
As Ottoman soldiers dwindled, the Citadel began to lose some of its strategic importance. The Citadel garrison was overrun and conquered by French troops during the French war against Egypt in 1798 AD due to its inferiority and the superiority of French contemporaneous armaments at the time. From a mission commanded by Louis IX, the French uncovered some crusader armament. These could have been looted after the Battle of Al Mansurah.
The external walls of the historic Citadel were renovated after Muhammad Ali Pasha took over as ruler of Egypt in 1805. He also provided the citadel with the most cutting-edge weapons, including coastal artillery. The second golden age of The Citadel may be attributed to Mohammed Ali’s presidency.
THE ORABI UPRISING:
When the British fleet bombarded Alexandria on July 11, 1882, it suffered severe damage everywhere, particularly in the vicinity of the Citadel. This attack caused significant damage to the fortress. Direct cannon fire badly destroyed the building’s north and western façade. Large holes can be seen in the western facade, which was completely destroyed.
The upper floors of the Citadel were abandoned but eventually renovated by the Ministry of Defense in 1904. In order for the Citadel to function as a royal retreat, King Farouk requested an urgent refurbishment.
After the 1952 revolution, Egyptian Naval Soldiers turned the structure into a marine museum. The Egyptian Antiquities Organization’s ambitious restoration plans caused the fort to undergo its most significant repairs in 1984.
ACCESSING QAITBAY FORT:
Fort Qaitbay is located in Alexandria’s western suburbs, and it has very advantageous strategic location. The fort’s extraordinary and distinctive structure, which makes it visible from practically anywhere along the city’s coastline, is a big draw for travellers to Alexandria.
QAITBAY FORT’S EVENTS AND ATTRACTIONS:
The fascinating elements can be found throughout Fort Qaitbay. The main tower or building of Fort Qaitbay serves as the centre of attention for the entire complex.
There are two portions to the protective walls. Within the outer walls are towers for defence and posts for soldiers to guard it. Inside the inner walls are the troops’ barracks and a location to store weapons.
The three-story main tower of Fort Qaitbay has a semi-square shape. This part has four towers with a circle at each corner. The tower houses Alexandria’s oldest mosque and minaret.
Egypt has several significant destinations worth seeing outside Qaitbay Fort, such as Luxor and Memphis. The list is not complete at this time. Read the blogs on the official Deluxe Tours Egypt website to discover more.