Qal'a (Cairo)
Cairo, Egypt

The Citadel of Cairo was built by a lieutenant of the Ayyubid ruler Salah al-Din between 1176-1183 as a royal residence and military barracks. Over the course of its long history as the seat of government for the Ayyubid, Mamluk, Ottoman, and Khedival rulers of Egypt from the thirteenth to the nineteenth centuries, the Citadel has been reorganized and enlarged in six major stages.

Among its extant monuments, the 13th/14th c. hypostyle mosque of al-Nasir Muhammad from the Early Bahri Mamluk period, the 16th c. Mosque of Suleyman Pasha, first of the Citadel's Ottoman-style mosques, and the 19th c. Mosque of Muhammad 'Ali al-Kabir indicate the rich chronological and stylistic spectrum of architecture at the Citadel.


Behrens-Abouseif, Doris. Islamic Architecture in Cairo: An Introduction., 66. Leiden; New York: E.J. Brill, 1989.

Jarrar, Sabri, András Riedlmayer, and Jeffrey B. Spurr. Resources for the Study of Islamic Architecture. Cambridge, MA: Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, 1994.

Meinecke, Michael. Die Mamlukische Architektur in Ägypten und Syrien (648/1250 bis 923/1517). Glückstadt: Verlag J. J. Augustin, 1992.

Rabbat, Nasser O. The Citadel of Cairo: A new interpretation of Royal Mamluk Architecture. Leiden; New York: E.J. Brill, 1995.

Rabbat, Nasser O. The Citadel of Cairo. Geneva: Aga Khan Trust for Culture, 1989.

Williams, Caroline. Islamic Monuments in Cairo: The Practical Guide,, 195. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2002.

al-Qal'ah, Cairo, Egypt
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1176/572 AH - 1183-1184/579 AH; Enlarged in 13th-14th c./7th-8th c. AH
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