Qaitbay Citadel is one of the most important forts on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Mamluk sultan al-Ashraf Abu al-Nasr Qaitbay built it between 882 AH/ 1477 AD and 884/ 1479 AD over the ruins of Alexandria’s Lighthouse. It served as Alexandria’defence against naval attacks.
The citadel was made of limestone and spanned an area of approximately 17550 m2. An outer wall plotted with defence towers surrounds the building.
An inner wall surrounds the citadel’s courtyard and includes a number of rooms some of them used as barracks and others for storage.
The citadel’s entrance leads to the courtyard where we find the main tower located in the northwest. It consists of a massive three-floored square fort. Its four corners are occupied by half-circular towers that carry protruding balconies for the defence of the city. A tank near the tower supplied soldiers and their horses with water.
Qaitbay citadel drew the attention of rulers throughout the ages, on account of its strategic location. The building was also enlarged and subject to other conservation operations in 2003.