Citadel, Cairo

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South-East Cairo

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    Citadel of Cairo

    by stevemt Written Apr 24, 2010

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    The Citadel is a large fort that now contains apart from 2 mosques, the Military Museum and the Police Museum

    The 2 mosques are very different, 1 plainish but with elegance, and the other ornate.

    The Military museum is great, well set out, well looked after, pity that about 1/3 of the exhibits were roped off for some reason when I was there.
    The Police Museum is a different story. Shoddy, ill prepared, (any archivist would have a nightmare to see the way photographs and documents have been treated.)

    The plain (?) mosque had some beautiful stonework and the other mosque (virtually right next door ???) was ornate.

    Well worth the visit though

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    A mosque with a view: the Citadel

    by TheLongTone Updated Feb 6, 2010

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    The citadel is one of the places that even the cursory tours tacked on to Nile Cruise/Luxor package holidays do. And it is worth a visit, if only for the views over Cairo and, weather and pollution permitting, the pyramids.

    I'm sorry that the people on such guided tours invariably spend far to much time in the Mohammed Ali mosque, which visually dominates this vast complex. Of course Mohammed Ali is a key figure in Egyptian history, and the parties of Egyptian schoolkids being crocodiled around make sense. But as a mosque it's really only got size to commend it: and moreover its a very un-egyptian mosque:architecturally it belongs in Turkey.

    Really, there's a full day here. As with any fortification, to understand it you need to walk round the outside first to appreciate it's impregnability. This is a long and often not particularly pleasant walk. Cut it unless you're an obsessive.

    Inside there's a lot to see as well. Apart from just seeing the complex itself, there are a couple of museums and a sprinkling of mosques, my favorite being the Suleyman Pasha mosque tucked away at the northern end of the site.

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    Mohammad Ali Mosque

    by Cielo_Algaeed Updated Aug 16, 2009

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    The Mohammad Ali Mosque is one of the very few mosques which allows non-muslims to go inside. Wondering if the mosque is still being used for prayers? The answer is YES! So, make sure to dress up accordingly especially for ladies. Be aware that you have to remove your socks as you enter the mosque.

    Inside, you will find the tomb of Mohammad..located after the main entrace of Mohammad Ali mosque praying room, on your right side. It is fenced but still you cna have a peek of his tomb.

    The mosque as well as the courtyard were designed ottoman Baroque style.

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    Salahuddin Citadel

    by Cielo_Algaeed Updated Aug 16, 2009

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    Salahuddin Citadel issituated in an elevated area in Cairo giving you a perfect view of the city. The citadel houses offices, mosques and museums.So,spare your time and enjoy every minute that you're inside the citadel.

    The Mohammad Ali Mosque is one of the very few mosques which allows non-muslims to go inside. Wondering if the mosque is still being used for prayers? The answer is YES! So, make sure to dress up accordingly especially for ladies. Be aware that you have to remove your socks as you enter the mosque.

    Inside, you will find the tomb of Mohammad..located after the main entrace of Mohammad Ali mosque praying room, on your right side. It is fenced but still you can have a peek of his tomb.

    The mosque as well as the courtyard were designed Ottoman Baroque style.

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    The Citadel

    by SallyM Written May 31, 2009
    The Citadel

    Saladin commenced the building of the Citadel in 1176, but it was later enlarged by the Mamluks, who took control of Egypt in the thirteenth century, and by their successors, the Ottomans.

    The citadel is also the site of the 19th century Mosque of Mohammed Ali.

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    Great view of the city

    by mindcrime Updated Apr 20, 2009

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    view from Citadel

    Salah Al-Din's Citadel constructed in 1183 A. D. to dominate Cairo from the Mokattam Hills. Its on a top of a hill in Islamic Cairo and surrounded by walls. I walked there one sunny morning through Islamic Cairo and I almost faded because of the heat. After some bottles of water I recovered and I enjoyed the sights inside the Citadel.

    Some important monuments here are:
    -the Mosque of Soleyman Pasha, it was built in 1528 in the northern enclosure of the Citadel. I didn’t see any decorative façade like elsewhere in Cairo probably because of its military heritage (Suleyman was the governor of the Jenissaries corps)
    -the Alabaster Mosque, officially the mosque of Muhammad Ali is one of the most popular among tourists because of its size and location. So I got surprised when I learned that it was built just in the beginning of 19th century with nothing really important about it! From a distance it looked impressive but I god disappointed when I visited it but I liked the Josephs’ Well.

    There is a terrace overlooking Islamic Cairo and on a clear day you will have some great views of the city!

    the entrance fee for the citadel is 5 euros

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    Mohammad Ali Mosque

    by DunaKal Updated Feb 13, 2009

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    This mosque is apart of the citadel,
    If you`re a woman,you will be asked to dress conservatively,other wise you will be offerd a cloak to wear before entering the mosque incase your dress was inappropriate.
    Make sure you take a plastic bag with you to place your shoes in,you are not allowed to enter the mosque with your shoes on,and there are no place to leave them at,and even the shelves inside the mosque are not enough for everybody.

    This picture shows where the Imam stands and preachs for Friday prayers.

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    Citadel and Mohammed Ali/Sultan Hassan Mosques

    by chizz Written Jan 7, 2009

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    Inside Mohammed Ali Mosque - Citadel - Cairo
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    For great views of Cairo, it is nice to take a cab up to the Citadel in Islamic Cairo. It was built in 1176 by Salah Al Din to protect the city from crusaders and the complex holds several mosques and museums. The site is open from 8am - 5pm daily and costs 50LE for adults - discounts available for students and children.
    The Mohammed Ali Mosque is certainly impressive and is included in the entry cost to the Citadel. You can also visit the Mosque of Sultan Al Nasir (not closed on Fridays as not used for prayers). Outside the Bab Al Azab (Al Azab Gate), you can walk to the Sultan Hassan and Rifai mosques (open Sat - Thurs from 8am - 10pm and on Fridays from 8am-1pm and 2.30pm-5pm) and entry is 25LE each for adults (as of Nov. 2008) - discounts apply for students and children.
    The various museums inside the Gate include the Police National Museum, the Military Museum and the Carriage Museum (entry charges apply in each).

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    Citadel Mosques

    by MikeBird Written Oct 15, 2008

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    Mosque of Mohammed Ali in the Citadel
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    The large corner of Cairo known as the Citadel is a prominent feature of the skyline. You have to pay to enter the grounds (Adults £LE40) but once inside you're free to wander and explore a number of mosques all located within a short space of each other. You also get a terrific view over the city.

    The biggest mosque is the Mohammed Ali mosque as featured in the photo. From a distance it looks really impressive but close up some of the marble appears decidely grubby. Still, I had never been inside a mosque before, and I loved the openness and the huge set of lights suspended from the dome. I was one of many hundreds of tourists inside so it did detract from the peace that the surroundings certainly convey.

    If you have time try to break away from the crowds and enter some of the other buildings in the compound. There are photos of the smaller and Moorish styled mosque of Sultan al-Nasir. There were very few visitors here and you can wander around easily.

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  • Citadel of Salah al-Din

    by JTPO Written Sep 26, 2008

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    Be sure to visit the Citadel, its an amazing piece of history and culture. Entrance is 40 LE (USD$8) and well worth it. You can spend 3-4 hours here and not get bored. If you really want to know about the history, look around for a local tour guide to assist you for a fee (usually 50 LE per hour). Make sure your tour guide has a our guide badge or license, as they are trained by the government to give tours. Free-lance tour guides often don't know their history and are a waste of time. Also, talk to your guide for a minute to make sure his or her English is understandable before you agree to go with them! It will be hard to get rid of them once you agreed to go and then realize you cannot understand them. Be sure to get pictures of th Cairo city-scape from the Citadel, from there you get a 180 degree view of Cairo and can have a moment to take in the sounds and sights of Cairo and realize what a busy city it really is.

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    • Museum Visits
    • Castles and Palaces

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  • Citadel: Mohammed Ali Mosque

    by karensuzjo Written Aug 7, 2008
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    This is an interesting area to visit. Of course, you have to take your shoes off before you enter as it is a working mosque. Inside is the tomb of Mohammed Ali. There was a funny story about how the French had given a clock to the Citadel and it broke the same day.

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    • Religious Travel
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    Prison Museum

    by SWFC_Fan Written May 10, 2008

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    Prison Museum, The Citadel, Cairo
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    I visited the Prison Museum during a visit to Cairo in November 2007.

    This small museum is located within the city’s Citadel and entry is included in the price of entrance to the Citadel (40 EGP / 4 GBP).

    The museum consists of two rows of bleak looking stone prison cells, some of which have exhibitions behind their bars. I didn’t need a guide to show me around the museum, such was its small size, but the attendant insisted on showing me around and giving me a running commentary in return for a small tip (10 EGP / 1 GBP).

    The exhibitions behind the bars were all very similar. They featured dimly lit, unfurnished cells and model prisoners. One of the prisoners was from the distant past, while another was supposed to depict a more modern prisoner. Perhaps it is a sign of how little Egyptian prisons have improved over the years that both of these exhibitions looked very similar. Or perhaps it is a reflection of the quality of the museum. I don’t know. Another prisoner was sitting on the floor of his cell with a large stone ball chained to his ankle, while yet another of the exhibitions featured a “famous” prisoner (the attendant’s commentary didn’t elaborate any further than that).

    There was a second set of cells located adjacent to the main cells, but the attendant told me that these were the “women’s prison” and were off limits to visitors. A small part of me thought that there might actually be real women prisoners in there to this very day, but that was just my imagination running wild in these depressingly bleak surroundings.

    A small museum showing the life of Egyptian prisoners. Will keep you occupied for 10 minutes or so.

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    Police National Museum

    by SWFC_Fan Written May 10, 2008

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    Police National Museum, The Citadel, Cairo
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    I visited the Police National Museum during a visit to Cairo in November 2007.

    This small museum is located within the city’s Citadel and entry is included within the price of entrance to the Citadel (40 EGP / 4 GBP).

    The building in which the museum is located looks quite impressive from the outside, with grand arches, stone statues and a staircase leading up to the entrance. Inside, you will find bare walls, plain stone floors and no decoration – just a handful of exhibits in otherwise plain, empty rooms.

    The exhibits include glass cases showcasing the various weaponry used by the Egyptian police force throughout history, and a selection of police uniforms from different historical periods.

    There are some interesting stories (written in both Arabic and English) of notable Egyptian criminals, detailing the crimes they committed and how they were ultimately caught and brought to justice.

    One exhibit gives a fascinating insight into how the ancient Egyptians first developed fingerprinting techniques to prove the guilt of criminals.

    A small museum devoted to the Egyptian police force. Worthy of 10-15 minutes browsing.

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    Military Museum

    by SWFC_Fan Written May 10, 2008

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    Fighter planes + tanks at Cairo's Military Museum
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    I visited the Military Museum during a visit to Cairo in November 2007.

    This medium sized museum is located within the city’s Citadel and entry is included in the price of entrance to the Citadel (40 EGP / 4 GBP). A further charge of 10 EGP (1 GBP) is payable if you wish to take photos inside the museum.

    The interior of the museum features impressive displays of artillery and weaponry from the distant past to the present day, as well as military uniforms and other paraphernalia.

    You can read about hundreds of battles (written in Arabic and roughly translated into English) throughout Egypt’s military history and see large maps that show how various battles were won and lost. There are some very impressive photographs and paintings of battle scenes.

    There are several exhibitions devoted to notable military personnel, complete with dozens of bronze head sculptures to commemorate them.

    However, in my opinion, the most impressive aspect of the museum is its open air display of fighter planes and tanks – you can see dozens of these camouflaged vehicles standing in a large courtyard next to the main museum building.

    An impressive collection of Egyptian military vehicles, weaponry and other war based paraphernalia. Worthy of 45-60 minutes of browsing.

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    The Citadel

    by SWFC_Fan Written May 10, 2008

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    The Citadel and Mosque of Mohamed Ali, Cairo
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    I visited Cairo’s impressive Citadel during a visit to the city in November 2007.

    This medieval fortified complex (the fortifications were built in the 1170s) is located on Muqattam Hill and offers superb views over the centre of Cairo.

    I reached the Citadel by taxi, paying 20 EGP (2 GBP) for the journey from the Khan al Khalili bazaar. There were many taxis parked outside the Citadel, and I would recommend this as the most convenient method for tourists wishing to make a visit there.

    Entrance to the Citadel costs 40 EGP (4 GBP) and this includes entrance to the three museums located on site; the Police Museum, the Prison Museum and the Military Museum (see separate tips for details of each of these).

    Arguably, the most impressive sight in the Citadel is the imposing Mosque of Mohamed Ali, an imposing Ottoman mosque dating back to the mid-1800s, which dominates the Citadel’s skyline with its numerous domes and minarets. There are also a couple of smaller, more modest mosques within the Citadel.

    My main motivation for visiting the Citadel was that I had seen photographs of the impressive views that can be enjoyed from there. Standing on the edge of the fortress walls, next to the old cannons that face out over the city, you can enjoy an incomparable view over the urban sprawl that is Cairo. The views, and the great photos that you can take, are worth the admission fee alone.

    Inside the Citadel, you will find souvenir shops and refreshment kiosks. There are outdoor cafes (some, for example, selling Italian food) and there is an outdoor dining area called “Oriental Food Corner” located next to the Prison Museum.

    At the time of my visit, there were not too many tourists, but the Citadel was swarming with children on school trips. My presence there seemed to be more interesting to them than the sights they had come to see, as many of them asked my name and which country I was from.

    An impressive mosque, a selection of museums and some superb views. Cairo’s Citadel is well worth a visit!

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