The Circassian Mameluke Sultan Al-Ashraf Qaitbay established the fortress and built a mosque inside it. After the British assault of the city of Alexandria in 1882, it was kept out of the spotlight. He barricaded the place as a part of his waterfront armed edifices against the Turks, who threatened Egypt at that time. The Citadel Of Quaitbay continued to function during most of the Mameluke, Ottoman, and Modern period
The Citadel is one of the most important structures of the city of Alexandria in the past as well as the present. Built along the Mediterranean Sea, the citadel was one of the most defensive strongholds all around the Sea. The Citadel has survived 3 earthquakes since its establishment in the 14th century. The citadel was founded by Al-Ashraf AbouAnasrSaif El-Din Qaitbay. The citadel was named after him.
To protect northern Egypt against the Ottomans who were slowly getting stronger along the Mediterranean the people built the citadel. The citadel also includes an underground prison to keep the perpetrators at bay.
The citadel stands against the oncoming waves from the Mediterranean day after day. On a stormy day, tourists are bound to get wet by the splashing waters of the waves crashing on the shore. Overlooking the Sea, the citadel provides a glorious view of the majesticity of the Sea as well as the busy hustles of the city.
Being on top of the castle, one can view the actual scenes that the archers used to look at and that is tremendously outstanding. Just to the right of the main entrance, the citadel has a museum for fossilized creatures. The museum also houses the rare skeleton of a blue whale. A two-minute walk from the citadel would lead you to an aquarium housing most of the known marine life including the likes of Piranha.
All in all, The Citadel Of Quaitbay is one of the sites that just cannot be missed while on a visit to Alexandria.