Bab Zuwayla, with its impressive dimensions, perfect stone masonry, and graceful twin minarets rising from its round-fronted towers, is one of Cairo’s most iconic monuments. It is the only remaining gate of the southern wall of the city’s Fatimid phase. It lies at the end of Khiyamiyya Street and opens onto the historic al-Muizz Street, which leads to Bab al-Futuh. Built by the Fatimid vizier, Badr al-Jamali, in 485 AH/1092 AD. The gate was named after the tribe of Zuwayla, who came from north Africa with Jawhar al-Siqili and quartered near the gate. Bab Zuwayla was also known as Bawabat al-Mitwalli, after the mitwalli al-hesba, the official in charge of finances and tax collection, who was based here. Mitwalli, "one of the righteous friends of Allah," resides in this area, and performs miracles.
The gate consists of two semicircular towers and the entrance lies between them. The minarets were not added until 818 AH/1415 AD, when the Mamluk Sultan al-Muayyad Shaykh built a mosque next to Bab Zuwayla.
Bab Zuwayla witnessed the end of Mamluk rule when the Ottoman Sultan, Selim I, hanged the last Mamluk sultan, Tumanbay, in 923 AH/1517 AD.