When you have more time to spend in Cairo, besides the pyramids and museums, Citadel will be the other main destination. The entrance fee was 40LE in February 2007 (for foreign visitor), half price for the student card holder, and less than 10LE for egyptians. Take a lot of pictures from the front yard of the citadel!!! The hill across to the citadel entrance will be the present Egypt military area. After the checking area, you will pass the inner citadel wall. You may see the photo studio on your right, where you can get pictures of you dressed in Egyptian`s traditional costumes. The main attraction of the citadel will be Mohammad Ali Mosque. Before entering the mosque, spend some time to see the view of Cairo city. The citadel was built on the highest ground of Cairo by Salahadin during the Crossent war. Great view!! Bring sunglasses and apply good sunblock as the heat on the citadel yard will be still `biting` you even on the winter time. Wear or bring shocks for entering the mosque as you have to remove your shoes or sandals. The floor will be cold and dusty. There are some other buildings to see inside the citadel too, but when you have limited time like I had before, the mosque will be themust see in citadel. On the way to the exit, you may see some vendors selling egypt souvenir and gift. This is the place you will see lots of cute egyptian kids too!!! Apparently students, they may ask you to take some pictures. An other fun in the citadel :-))
No separated entrance fee for Mohammad Ali Mosque, it will be included with your citadel ticket. It is also called Alabaster Mosque becauce the mosque was bulit by that stones. YOU HAVE TO REMOVE YOUR SANDALS/SHOES to enter the mosque, like moslems do, as the mosque is the place for moslems to pray. Ladies do not have to cover your hair but DO NOT DRESS PROVOCATIVELY. As the place to pray for the moslems, it is considered as a sacred place, so respect it ladies ! Spend some time in the courtyard, see the well and `the old washing pre-praying` in the middle. You may see the tower with a clock, given by French as the exchange of the obelisk in Paris. When you are in the praying room, you may see the chandelars and domes on the ceiling. Spend time to ask somebody about the imam (praying leader) area. You may see the Mohammad Ali tomb too. Taking pictures is allowed in the mosque but give privacy and respect to the ones who pray.
When you come to visit citadel alone, you may miss this tomb. It is located after the main entrace of Mohammad Ali mosque praying room, on your right side. It is secured by a fence but you can still see the tomb inside. That is the tomb of Mohammad Ali, the one who built the mosque.
The Citadel situated at the foot of the Moqattam' Hills and is seen almost from everywhere. Its massive walls impress very much and seem to be very severe. Particularly when viewed from the back side (from the north), the Citadel reveals a very medieval character. Originally it served as both a fortress and a royal city.
It is considered that Saladin began the construction of the Citadel in 1176. He used stones from the small pyramids at Giza. Nothing remains of the original structure except the outer walls on the east side and a few towers in the interior; and the two palaces of the Ayyubid period. They were already half destroyed at the time of Selim's entry into the city, have disappeared almost without trace. The Citadel was closed to visitors for a long time but now it is now restored and opened to the public.
The Citadel houses a number of museums, ancient mosques and other sites.
Salah Salem Rd.
Open May-September 8.00-18.00, October-April 8.00-17.00.
Entrance fee LE35 ($7)
Learn more The Citadel, Cairo
Palace of the jewel in the southern western side falls from the castle and has built on the rubble of old Mamluke palaces that is related to king Al Ashraf Qaetbae's age and sultan Al Ghouri and the restriction has allocated a headquarters for Mohamed's rule on a pasha and for its official receptions .
And Mohamed has stayed at a pasha in one of the slaves palaces in El Azbakia district until it undertook Egypt state in 1805 ã and after it has Khorshid Basha's dismissed the Ottoman governor from Saladin's Citadel region their taking decided a headquarters of it and a stronghold and ordered work
Reforms and restorations included the castle fences, their towers and their doors . Then he has built of several facilities and palaces and it was from its more important the soldier barracks, the referee collections of poems and the ammunition factories and the industry house and schools of the army as built a building to the harem and its accommodation headquarters ( the military museum now ) in addition to its mosque, the building of justice and record house and the jewel palace and at the same time it has renewed the mintage house ( the coinage of currency ) that was present originally in Castle district
And building the palace has taken place in the period from year 1811 AD until 1814 AD and consists of halls and rooms that decorated its walls and its bishop by patterns and gilded decorations from the known as model Al Roukoukou who is distinguished by the repeated ornamental units and the sceneries
And these patterns differ from a hall to another and the most important of these halls the main hall ( the high council ) where Mohamed is judging on Egypt pasha with the assistance of clerics and nobles then the throne hall ( the decrees ) and Alpaster hall and the hours hall and not
That is from the halls besides the bath Alpaster this besides what the palace contains from masterpieces and a furniture that represent the age of the Alawi
The establishment of an archeological garden museum open on the area of 9000 square meters of Islamic monuments took place from columns, the crowns of Wklg and vats from Ayyubid Mamluke and Ottoman ages and Mohamed on a pasha that represented Gosic a minaret from the Ottoman era and a group of witnesses carries written writings by Kufic and Naskh
And doors and historic memorial plaques and that brought from the Supreme Council of Antiquities stores from sultan Hassan, plums mosque and the Fustat and the Islamic Art Museum stores, and the restoration of hundreds of these memorial monuments has taken place a different
The size is from the marbles, the woods and the stones of granite and sandstone and the limestone .
And a project complete to a restoration and a development and the development of the square located between the fences has prepared the dealing with it has taken place archeologically and architecturally and vacuum by what agrees and a nature this great archeological site through the expansion of the old museum garden and the completion of its extensions northwards until a fourth rib is for a similarity
The fences region rectangle, and it has exploited the part the front the neighboring the northern fence by low stone stands it does not represent an optic obstacle for the effect and no dissonant and architectural with it, and it has prepared so that it forms a place of the refined cultural presentations that serve the national homeland occasions, and a place of the studies of the archeological population by its distinguished architectural block in the fences, the towers and the mountain column mosque
And these architectural treatments have preceded complete richer digging works in the narrated region that resulted in finding some important archeological witnesses that likened it in a basin from the adobe that was an attache by one of the Ottoman buildings that were existing in this site .
The Citadel was built as part of Saladin's defence of Cairo against the Crusader's. It was built on a hill with a surrounding wall built from blocks from the smaller pyramids of Giza. It was divided into two sections : military and civil areas; and the Royal living quarters. For 700 years the central government of Egypt was based here.
The mosque of Mohamed Ali is in the Ottoman/Turkish style, and the interior is coated with alabaster.
The view over Cairo is amazing. In the distance, on a clear day, the Pyramids can be seen.
In her "Letters from Egypt" , Florence Nightingale says:"From the terrace of the mosque is what I should imagine the finest view in the whole world. Cairo, which is immense, lies at the feet, a forest of minarets and domes and towers.......and the three Pyramids stand sharp against the sky."
It's unbelievable how many people must be living in this densely built on area. The buildings look as if they have either just been built, or just about to fall down- except for the mosques which stand proud pointing upwards.
My pocket rebelled at being asked to pay extra to see the museums though.
After Al Adid's death the another one of the Fatimid successors his minister, the Fatimid army commander and Al-Nouriya Salahuddin Al Ayoubi could independence in Egypt . He carried out many internal works that started with building the castle on the end of Mokatam mountain and established several new schools for the fight of the Fatimid Shiite doctrine, and worked for the unification of all small countries and the Islamic emirates under its hand, then turned thereafter to the jihad of crosses . Behind the fair sultan Saifuddin Salahuddin in the rule of Ayoubite State then the sayings of eighteen years are the country part its count between his sons and Egypt signed under the rule of his complete son . And during its rule the crusaders transferred their activity to Egypt that want the removal of the Egyptian Ayoubite State . He came for an achievement that two crusade campaigns to the first Egypt in the time of the complete sultan and the second in sultan Al-Saleh Ayub's time, and they could the two campaign the walking south until Cairo but each of them returned with a complete failure .Al-Saleh Ayub died during the second campaign then his wife undertook the pearls trees the country matters and Egypt ruled three months approximately the Turkmen until it married one of the slaves leaders and his name Aibak following the wish of the hating standing a woman in the sultanate and so the rule of Ayyubid reached Egypt
Mohamed Ali (1769-1849) was born in Cavalia, Greece, and was of Albanian origin.
He was a soldier in the troops that were sent to Egypt to free the country from Napoleon's occupation and took part in the land battle of Abou Kir on the 25th of July 1799.
The construction works to the mosque began in 1830 AD but were not completed until the reign of Said Pacha in 1857.
The style of the mosque is Ottoman Baroque and important features are its dome, which is 52 meters high, and its two minarets which rise 84 meters from the ground levels of its courtyard.
It is also known as the Alabaster Mosque because this material was used to cover its interior and exterior walls.
In the last days of the Ayoubite State most of the jobs became in the government and the army in sects hands from the slaves who it attracted the Ayyubid sultans from all the markets of the white slave trade by Asia Minor and the eastern south from Europe then they all were from the white slave . And the Mamluke country is divided in Egypt into two parts and they are the Turkish Mamluk's state or the navy As Salihiyah in relation to its founder the suitable sultan Nagmuddin Ayoub, and the Circassian Mamluk's state or Al Brgia in relation to their residence at the mountain castle towers . And the Mamluke sultanate broadened until it included Egypt and Al-Sham and the Turkish Mamluk's state age was characterised by its great personalities and the one who defeated the Persian Mongols country several times and came between it and between the connection with the European crusade strengths, to the Mediterranean Sea . And he was the last sultans of that country the sultan argued the one that deposed him about the throne a big prince from the princes of the sect of the Circassian slaves and by this the Turkish Mamluk's state finished from Egypt . And the change of rule into a change in the management system or the external or domestic policy are not done, and more than this and that is that the Circassian Mamluk's state sultans remained as their ancestors totally . The Circassian Mamluk's state rule continued until the emergence of war between them and between the Ottoman Empire while the Mamluke country some the Portuguese disclosure results of the marine way is suffering from Europe to India then the wide trade that was bestowing on the country enormous huge wealths decreased .
The Military Museum in Cairo is famous for its rich collection and historical building which was originally a palace during the reign of Mohamed Ali, the founder of the royal family that ruled Egypt from 1805 through 1952. (www.sis.gov.eg).
Since my kids will be studing this at some point in history lessons,,I thought it would be a good idea to see the museum.
It was very exiting for them.
check my military albums for more pictures.
In the courtyard outside the Mohammed Ali Mosque stands a clock tower.The clock which was given by King Louis Philippe of France in exchange for the obelisk from Luxor which now stands in the Place de la concorde in Paris.The clock no longer works.
The fences of the southern part or the southern square passed by several stages that represents not known different historic ages where the sources did not speak about them whether the Arab or foreign nevertheless we from the possible follow the architectural planning the fences of the southern part where we notice first through the work of a comparison between all of the northern part fences and the southern part is that it is while the fences of the northern part lean
Or the northern square on several towers we find that the fences of the southern part or the southern square is about to extending in the form of a curtain that towers do not obstruct as notice that the southern fences passed by several historic stages that made it is difficult its defining
Where that Mohamed on a pasha when it has renewed the castle fences and specially southern fence did not carry out only the renewal of parts from the southern fence but with building the fence all what three towers ran falls beside the mountain door or Salah Salem's gate now again in the same level that was by it the fences moving with its raise, the addition of cannons fatha and boilers openings to the rifles so that they match the development of the defense styles in the after Christ 19th Century .
As for from the architectural planning for the fences of the southern part, we find that they are divided into two main parts as follows :
The first part is from the southern fence
And he is upper from behind Mohamed's mosque on a pasha along palace rest Al Ablq and the tower of the fender start so that it surrounds the sultanic way a descent then rises once again so that it surrounds the rest of sultanic way and the castle arsenal or the farms door workshops so that at the door Al Ostana ends .
I visited the Citadel on a stunningly clear day. From the balcony I could see almost a 180 degree view of Cairo and even further across the Nile to the Great Pyramids of Giza. As impressed as I was by the architecture and atmosphere of the Citadel (built by Alexander the Great), I really enjoyed visiting the War Museum right next door. It is not obvious from the entrance to the Citadel but it is walking distance (2 minute walk) to get there.
The craftmanship and presentation of all the displays was fantastic. It really gave me a great insight into the various periods of old Egypt through to modern day. Really I could have spent as many days there as I could have at the Cairo Museum. The uniform displays were incredible and even just revelling in the building itself is magic. It is a must do activity!
The date of the northern fences returns a beginning Mn Asr Salahuddin Al Ayoubi and became complete their building in the age all of the fair and complete and has witnessed several additions and reforms throughout ages until Mohamed's age on a pasha .
And the northern square consists from a fence that several towers supports that its sizes and its forms differed what is between half circular and squatting to a small doors side, doors with broken entrances and its fences a huge its thickness reaches three metres and its rise increases the inside in the average on ten metres as the rise of some towers exceeds sometimes twenty metres
And a passage interposes the fences that its width reaches 90 centimetres and this passage is done to quadruple narrow rooms the length of each rib from them is 2.50 metres and their rise 2.25 metres, and it has opened in this passage between the chambers several openings that overlooks the inside as the windows for its lighting as for from the abroad then they do not have openings while are except the rooms openings and the one that was prepared on a conical form so that it uses as openings to the arrows or a passage boil and number this reaches chain Al Mza in most of the rooms to three
Also he creates in the towers chambers but they are rectangular and the biggest size where their length exceeds five metres and they open in each of them two side rooms in the form of two arms and by each of them outlets or
Order boil to the arrows . And defining the date of fences and the towers that falls in the northern square