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3 Iconic Castles in Egypt to Visit

Fri 20 May 2022 | 04:14 PM
Ahmed Emam

Egypt is home to some of the world’s best and most beautiful castles. Considering that the African Northern country has had a long military history that is still vibrant today, it comes as no surprise that you would find beautiful castles across the country.

Here are at least 3 of the iconic castles in Egypt you shouldn't miss!

1-The Citadel of Salah El-Din in Cairo

The Citadel of Saladin is a medieval Islamic-era fortification in Cairo, Egypt, founded by Salah ad-Din Ayyubi in 1176 AD to protect Cairo from its enemies, especially the crusaders, and further developed by subsequent Egyptian rulers.

The historical Citadel is actually one of Egypt’s most fascinating structures. The structure is not only built into the side of a hill, but also sits on top of the second-longest plateau in Cairo, which spans four floors.

Saladin’s Citadel is located on a promontory of the Mokattam hills near the center of Cairo commands a strategic position overlooking the city and dominating its skyline.

It was the seat of government in Egypt and the residence of its rulers for nearly 700 years from the 13th to the 19th centuries, according to Egypt’s Ministry of Culture.

Today, the iconic ancient castle is open to public visitors who can also buy affordable tickets to see the Great Mohamed Ali mosque and historical army museum. For the latter, you can access over three miles of chambers and passageways.

2-Shali Castle in Siwa

Located in the western desert, this historical site is one of the most incredible attractions in Egypt. The castle lies in the heart of the Siwa oasis.

Founded between the 12th and 13th century by native Berbers or Imazighen community, Shali Fortress is a structure made of a mixture named “ Salty Kershef”, which is the original local building material used in Siwan architecture. Kershef is a mixture of salt, mud, and other minerals from the Siwan salt lake.

Lately, the stunning unique archeological has been renovated as part of the revival of the Shali Fortress and Village Initiative in the Siwa Oasis, which initially began in 2018.


3-Saladin Castle in Sinai

If you do get fascinated with Ayyubid, Abbasi, Crusades, and Mamluk ruins, you will surely admire the Castle of Saladin. The iconic castle is the most well-preserved ancient Ayyubid Castle outside Cairo. It dates back to 1116 AD and was a significant city on Egypt’s ancient trade route.

The castle, which is located on top of a wild sandy island in the coastal town of Taba, can be reached by a day trip from Taba city. You can also stay at various affordable hotels and resorts in Taba and take a day touring the area.


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