Friday, February 18, 2011

Cairo Citadel

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This drawing shows the fortifications and main internal structures in the late 12th to 14th centuries. Saladin's late 12th century fortifications are in black. Early 13th century "great towers" in grey:

1. Upper Enclosure;

2. Lower Enclosure;

3. Bir Yusef well;

4. Mosque of al-Nasir Muhammad;

5. Great Iwan "reception hall of al-Nasir Muhammad";

6. Aqueduct from the Nile;

7. 'Maydon' Training Ground;

8. 'Toblakhanah';

9. Burj al-Ramlah tower (After Cresswell, Behrens, and Rabbat).

The Citadel of Cairo has remained a main fortress and military center into the modern times. Consequently most of Sultan al-Adil's buildings within the fortifications were replaced by newer structures during the Mameluke sultanate; then several Mameluke buildings were replaced by those of the Ottoman Turks, most of which were replaced by Muhammad Ali's 19th century reconstruction program. Even today modern additions to the citadel, such as a theatre, are useful for the people of Cairo, but have damaged certain historical remains.


David Nicole, "Saracen Strongholds 1100-1500," Fortress 87, Osprey Pub. London, 2009, pp. 5, 56-57.

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