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Citadel of Qaitbay – A Mediterranean Fort With A View

Do you know that the Citadel of Qaitbay stands on the site where the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria once was?  That lighthouse wasn’t just an ordinary structure to beacon seafarers but it’s one of the Wonders of the Ancient World. The tower was also the tallest structure in the world for many centuries. It was destroyed by three  strong earthquakes between AD 956 to 1323. Today, parts of the ruins of the ancient lighthouse are scattered around the Citadel by the Mamluks.

How to get there:
It’s very easy to get to Qaitbay Citadel. Just go to the corniche and and look on your left. At a far distance, you’ll see the fort with a waving Egyptian flag. You can reach it on foot for 30 minutes. If walking isn’t your thing, flag down a white taxi van and tell the driver to drop you off at Citadel. Pay EGP5.

Related:  Inside the Modern Library of Alexandria 

Self-guided Tour
The fort can be best explored following this route I trod. And oh, these photos will give you a hint on capturing the best angle of the fort. 😉

The Citadel of Qaitbay is an important defence fort in the Mediterranean coast.

Citadel of Qaitbay - A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

Citadel of Qaitbay – A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

It’s built at the mouth of Pharos Island where the Lighthouse of Alexandria once proudly stood.

Citadel of Qaitbay - A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

Citadel of Qaitbay – A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

As soon as you show your ticket to the guard, stop and admire this view.

Citadel of Qaitbay - A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

Citadel of Qaitbay – A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

Turn right after passing the arch and walk along the garden.

Citadel of Qaitbay - A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

Citadel of Qaitbay – A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

Take the stairs up, right next to the main castle, and prepare to be surprised with a view like this.

Citadel of Qaitbay - A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

Citadel of Qaitbay – A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

Or like this.

Citadel of Qaitbay - A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

Citadel of Qaitbay – A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

And this.

Citadel of Qaitbay - A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

Citadel of Qaitbay – A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

Follow the corridor and enjoy the view.

Qaitbay Citadel - A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

Qaitbay Citadel – A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

Go there in the morning not just to avoid the searing heat but also for photographic reasons.

Qaitbay Citadel - A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

Qaitbay Citadel – A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

When I took these photos, the sun was behind me, so it’s a perfect time for camwhoring! 😀

Qaitbay Citadel - A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

Qaitbay Citadel – A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

When you reach to the other side of the Citadel, you’ll find these tiny windows.

Qaitbay Citadel - A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

Qaitbay Citadel – A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

Most locals stay on this side to go fishing or take a leisurely stroll.

Qaitbay Citadel - A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

Qaitbay Citadel – A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

At the back of the Citadel of Qaitbay, you’re facing the endless stretch of the Mediterranean Sea. And from here, find the stairs down and enter the main building.
Qaitbay Citadel - A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

Qaitbay Citadel – A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

There’s really not much to see inside but cream-colored emptiness.

Qaitbay Citadel - A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

Qaitbay Citadel – A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

And a lot of unwanted graffiti on the walls left by irresponsible tourists.

Qaitbay Citadel - A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

Qaitbay Citadel – A Mediterranean Fort With A View (Alexandria, Egypt).

It would take an hour or less to go around the citadel. If you happen to be here with kids on school trip, prepare to be bombarded with requests for a photo op. Embrace your celebrity status. 😀 I lost count how many selfies I had with the kids. 😀

Related: The Lighthouse of Alexandria

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