The Qaitbay Citadel in Alexandria is considered one of the most important defensive strongholds, not only in Egypt, but also along the Mediterranean Sea coast.
The Citadel is situated at the entrance of the eastern harbor on the eastern point of the Pharos Island.
It is located in front of a special view of the blue sea.
It was built on the site of the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Restoration began in the period of Ahmed Ibn Tulun (about 880 A.D).
During the 11th century an earthquake occurred, causing damage to the octagonal part.
The bottom survived, but it could only serve as a watchtower, and a small Mosque was built on the top.
In the 14th century there was a very destructive earthquake and the whole building was completely destroyed.
About 1480 A.D, the Mameluke Sultan Al-Ashraf Qaitbay protected the place against the Turks, who were threatening Egypt at that time.
He built the castle and placed a Mosque inside it.
The Citadel continued to function during most of the Mameluke period, the Ottoman period and the Modern period.
The founder of the Citadel of Qaitbay is Sultan Al-Ashraf Abou Anasr Saif El-Din Qaitbay El-Jerkasy Al-Zahiry (1468-1496 A.D) who was born about 1423 A.D (826 H).
He was a Mamluke who had come to Egypt as a young man, less than 20 years old.
He was one of the most important and prominent Mameluke Sultans, ruling for about 29 years.
Mason was the architect of the Citadel, before his arrival in Egypt he was a Mameluke of Djakmaq in Syria.
During the rule of Qaitbay he became the edifices mason, and then the Viceroy of Alexandria.
He was appointed governor of Syria (Damascus), built a Mosque outside the gate of Rashid (Bab Rashid).
He also renovated the Mosque of El-Sawary outside the gate of Sadrah (Bab Sadrah).