Bab al‑Futuh

Bab al‑Futuh

Bab al-Futuh (Gate of Conquests) is one of the gates in the northern wall of Fatimid Cairo. It opens onto the historic al-Muizz Street, which leads to Bab Zuwayla. It was built by the vizier and commander-in-chief, Badr al-Jamali, during the reign of the Fatimid Caliph al-Mustansir Billah in 480 AH/1087 AD. Bab al-Nasr and Bab al-Futuh along with Bab Zuwayla (485 AH/1092 AD) are among the rare examples of military architecture in the Islamic world prior to the Crusades.

          As its dating inscription attests, this gate was founded as Bab al-Iqbal (Gate of Prosperity), but the inhabitants of Cairo continued to refer to it by the name of the older monument it replaced, Bab al-Futuh which was passed by the army to their conquests. The two towers of the gate have rounded fronts, and are linked by a platform, which features shafts in its floor through which boiling oil could be poured on invaders. The arch is splayed, and decorated with a lattice of diamonds, each containing a sculpted shape. Also worth noting are the beautifully decorated corbel stones above the arch.



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