Aswar al-Qahirah
Cairo, Egypt

The city walls of Saladin were built under the supervision of Baha' al-Din Qaraqaush (1176-1200). The Citadel of Saladin (northern enclosure), known as Qal'at al-Jabal, and the spiral well (outside the northern enclosure), a masterpiece of medieval engineering, were also built under the supervision of Qaraqush (1176-82).

The Bab al-Mudarraj, built in 1183-4, is one of the two original gates of the Citadel. The greatest tower in these ramparts is Burj al-Zafar, probably built between 1176 and 1192. The Burj al-Ramla and Burj al-Haddad belong to a group of towers built along the ramparts of the northern enclosure of the Citadel in 1207 under the reign of al-'Adil and during the viceroyship of al-Kamil. These stone fortifications provide an excellent example of Muslim military architecture from the age of the Crusades.


'Abd al-Wahhab, Hasan. 1940. Al-'Asr al-Ayyubi. Majallat al'Imara 2, 7-8:392-407.

Abu-Lughod, Janet. 1971. Cairo: 1001 Years of the City Victorious. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

Creswell, K.A.C. 1959. The Muslim Architecture of Egypt, vol. II. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Reprinted by Hacker Art Books, New York, 1978.

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

Lyster, William 1993. The Citadel of Cairo: A History and Guide. Cairo: The Palm Press.

MacKenzie, Neil. 1992. Ayyubid Cairo: A Topographical Study. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press.

Rabbat, Nasser. 1991. The Citadel of Cairo, 1176-1341: Reconstructing Architecture from Texts. Ph.D diss., MIT, Cambridge, MA

Cairo, Egypt
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begun 1176
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Cairo City Walls
Asawar Madina Salah al-Din
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