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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Qait Bay Fort | Alexandria Egypt Day 7

After lunch, we visited the Qait Bay Fort, which was located just by the Mediterranean Sea.

The Citadel of Qaitbay (or the Fort of Qaitbay) (Arabic,قلعة قايتباي) is a 15th century defensive fortress located on the Mediterranean sea coast, built upon/from the ruins of the Lighthouse of Alexandria, in Alexandria, Egypt. It was established in 1477 AD by Sultan Al-Ashraf Sayf al-Din Qa'it Bay.

The founder of the Citadel of Qaitbay is Sultan Al-Ashraf Abou Anasr Saif El-Din Qaitbay El-Jerkasy Al-Zahiry (1468-1496 A.D) who was born about 1423 A.D (826 H). He was a Mamluke who had come to Egypt as a young man, less than 20 years old. Bought by Al-Ashraf Bersbay, he remained among his attendants until Al-Ashraf Bersbay died. Then the Sultan Djaqmaq bought Qaitbay, and later gave him his freedom. Qaitbay then went on to occupy various posts. He became the Chief of the Army (Atabec Al-Askar) during the rule of the Sultan Tamar Bugha. When the Sultan was dethroned, Qaitbay was appointed as a Sultan who was titled Almalek Al-Ashraf on Monday 26th Ragab, 872 H. (1468 A.D). He was one of the most important and prominent Mameluke Sultans, ruling for about 29 years. He was a brave king, who tried to initiate a new era with the Ottomans by exchanging embassies and gifts. He was fond of travel and made many prominent journeys.

Qaitbay was so fond of art and architecture that he created an important post among the administrative system of the state; it was the Edifices Mason (Shady Al-Ama'er). He built many beneficial constructions in Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem. In Egypt there are about 70 renovated edifices attributed to him, among them are Mosques, Madrasas(school) , Agencies, Fountain houses (Sabils), Kuttabs, houses, military edifices like the Citadels in Alexandria and Rosetta (Nowadays the city of Rashid). These Citadels were built to protect the north of Egypt, mainly against the Ottomans, whose power was increasing in the Mediterranean.

Qait Bat Fort, Egypt Pictures

Egyptian Cat in Alexandria
I would term Alexandria the "City of Cats"
for the sheer numbers of well-fed stray cats
Egyptians leave packets of food for the cats
along the banks of the sea-line for the cats!

Mediterranean Sea






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