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Citadel of Salah AdDin       

History of Citadel of Salah AdDin

Citadel of Salah AdDin

The Citadel of Salah AdDin, also known as the Citadel of Cairo, is a medieval Islamic-era fortification located in Cairo, Egypt. It was constructed during the Ayyubid Dynasty in the 12th century under the rule of the Kurdish Ayyubid ruler, Salah al-Din (Saladin) [1]. The Citadel was built to serve as a military fortress, as well as the center of Salah al-Din's government [2]. Salah al-Din used modern fortress building techniques of that time to construct the original Citadel, including the use of great, round towers protruding from the walls [3]. The Citadel went through three main construction periods throughout its history, including the Ayyubid era in the 12th century during Saladin's reign [4].

The Citadel of Salah AdDin played a significant role in the Crusades, serving as a strategic military location. Saladin's son, Al-Malik al-'Adil, completed the building of the Citadel and surrounded some of the towers with outer encasing towers [5]. The Citadel was also used as a military garrison by the British during the 20th century [6]. First conceptualized by Saladin in 1176, the Citadel was designed to be the "stronghold in a grand and ambitious defensive project" [7]. Recognizing the importance of having such a fortified and protective structure, Saladin found much inspiration in the Syrian and Lebanese citadels [8].

Today, the Citadel of Salah AdDin remains an important historical and cultural landmark in Egypt, attracting tourists from all over the world. It offers magnificent views over the city and serves as a reminder of the rich history and architectural achievements of the Islamic world. In addition, there is a Citadel of Salah Ed-Din located in Shir al Qaq, Latakia, Syria, which is a Crusader-era castle designated as a World Heritage site in 2006 [9]. Overall, the Citadel of Salah AdDin stands as a testament to the ingenuity, strength, and resilience of the Islamic civilization.

 

Architecture and Design of Citadel of Salah AdDin

The Citadel of Salah AdDin, also known as the Citadel of Cairo, is a medieval Islamic-era fortification in Cairo, Egypt. It was built by Salah ad-Din, also known as Saladin, and further developed by subsequent Egyptian rulers [6]. The fortress boasts unique features that make it stand out from other fortresses of its time. Salah ad-Din used the most modern fortress building techniques of that time to construct the original Citadel, including great round towers that protruded from the walls [3]. The citadel has three main areas: the main fortress and eastern walls, which were built by Salah ad-Din in 1176, the southern enclosure with its mosques and palaces, and the northern enclosure, which was added by Muhammad Ali Pasha in the 19th century [10]. The Citadel of Salah AdDin is considered one of the most elegant fortresses constructed during the Middle Ages [8].

The use of natural terrain in the design of the Citadel of Salah AdDin is another unique feature of the fortress. The fortress is situated on Mokattam Hills, which provides a strategic advantage both to dominate Cairo and to defend against outside attackers [3]. The citadel consisted of watchtowers, the main building, and the gate. The city gates were built at different times, and the location of the Citadel provided a commanding view of the surrounding areas [11]. The strategic location of the Citadel of Salah AdDin was crucial in defending against the armies of the Crusaders [2].

The importance of the strategic location of the Citadel of Salah AdDin cannot be overstated. The fortress was built to defend against outside attackers and to become the center of Salah ad-Din's government [7]. Today, the Citadel of Salah AdDin is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Egypt [12]. UNESCO has declared it a world heritage site, which further highlights its significance [1]. The Citadel of Salah AdDin is a testament to the architectural and design prowess of the medieval Islamic era and a reminder of the strategic importance of fortresses in the past.
 

Importance of Citadel of Salah AdDin Today

 
The Citadel of Salah AdDin, also known as the Citadel of Cairo, is a significant tourist destination and UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was originally built by Saladin in the 12th century and has since been developed and renovated by subsequent rulers [6]. The Citadel is home to numerous museums, historical carriages, and three mosques, including the Alabaster Mosque [7]. Since 1976, it has been protected as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Cairo, attracting visitors from all over the world [13]. The Citadel's historical and cultural significance makes it an essential destination for anyone interested in exploring the rich history of the Arab world.

The Citadel of Salah AdDin is not only a popular tourist destination but also a symbol of Arab resistance against the Crusaders. Under Saladin's command, the Ayyubid army defeated the Crusaders at the Battle of Hattin in 1187, recapturing Jerusalem and re-establishing Muslim control over the Holy Land [14]. Saladin's legacy has made him a symbol of resistance to the West, particularly in the context of Arab nationalism in the 20th century [15]. The Citadel serves as a powerful reminder of the Arab world's rich and complex history of resistance against colonialism and foreign occupation.

The Citadel of Salah AdDin is a testament to the cultural and historical significance of the Arab world. It is one of the most important Islamic monuments in Cairo, showcasing medieval and 19th-century history [16]. Saladin, who founded the Citadel, is one of the most notable and significant figures in the history of the Arab world [17]. His rise to power and military achievements, including the capture of Jerusalem, have made him a revered figure in Arab and Islamic history [18][19][20]. The Citadel of Salah AdDin is a vital cultural landmark, representing the rich history and heritage of the Arab world.
 
References
 
1. Cairo Citadel - History and Architecture. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from landioustravel.com/cairo-citadel/
2.
Salah El Din Citadel in Cairo | Egypt. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from www.memphistours.com
3.
The Citadel in Cairo. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/citadel.htm
4.
Saladin Citadel and Muhammad Ali Mosque. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from www.connollycove.com
5.
Citadel of Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi - Discover Islamic Art. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from islamicart.museumwnf.org
6.
Cairo Citadel. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cairo_Citadel
7.
Saladin's Citadel: Cairo's Urban Fortress. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from egyptianstreets.com
8.
The Citadel Of Saladin. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from www.ask-aladdin.com
9.
Citadel of Salah Ed-Din. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from www.historyhit.com/locations/citadel-of-salah-ed-din/
10.
Saladin Citadel in Cairo | Salah El Din citadel facts. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from www.sharm-club.com
11.
Citadel of Salah El Din - Mohamed Ali Mosque | Cairo .... (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from www.deluxetoursegypt.com
12.
Cairo Citadel - 7 Wonders. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from 7wonders.org/africa/egypt/cairo/cairo-citadel/
13.
Salah El Din Al Ayouby Citadel | Saladin Citadel | Cairo .... (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from egypttimetravel.com/saladin-citadel-in-cairo
14.
Saladin. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saladin
15.
Salah Al-Din Al-Ayyubi. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from www.memphistours.com
16.
Saladin Citadel Mohammad Aly Mosque - Cairo. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from www.memphistours.co.uk
17.
Citadel of Saladin – Cairo, Egypt. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from www.atlasobscura.com/places/citadel-of-saladin
18.
Saladin. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from www.cs.mcgill.ca/~rwest/wikispeedia/wpcd/wp/s/Saladin.htm
19.
Emperor Salah Al-Din. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from www.egypttoursportal.com/en-us/emperor-salah-al-din/
20.
Saladin | Biography, Achievements, Crusades, Facts. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from www.britannica.com/biography/Saladin
Citadel of Salah AdDin
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Citadel of Salah AdDin
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Citadel of Salah AdDin
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