Chapter

The Citadel of Cairo in the Ayyubid Period and the Development of Thirteenth-century Fortifications: A Reconsideration

Tarek Galal Abdel-Hamid

in Creswell Photographs Re-examined

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9789774162442
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970115 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5743/cairo/9789774162442.003.0001
The Citadel of Cairo in the Ayyubid Period and the Development of Thirteenth-century Fortifications: A Reconsideration

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The citadel of Cairo is a monument that has been studied extensively by many scholars, especially for the Ayyubid and Mamluk periods. In 569/1174 Salah al-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub, founder of the Ayyubid dynasty, ordered one of his ablest amirs, Qaraqush, to start building the citadel between the two cities of al-Qahira and Misr al-Fustat. The citadel of Cairo is divided into two sections: a northern and a southern one. The towers of Salah al-Din were semicircular towers with a rectangular rear wall projection. The radical change in military architecture in the late twelfth-thirteenth centuries has been recorded by several authors. Taking the citadel of Cairo as a prototype for investigating the reasons behind the shift of Islamic military architecture in the thirteenth century allows us to propose an alternative hypothesis of what may have initiated that shift.

Keywords: Citadel of Cairo; Ayyubid period; Mamluk period; al-Qahira; Misr al-Fustat

Chapter.  13684 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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