Overview of Pharaoh's island Sept 28,2016 – Wikimedia / Diaa Meeky Overview of Pharaoh's island Sept 28,2016 – Wikimedia / Diaa Meeky

A Look at Pharaoh's island, South Sinai

Thu, Jan. 4, 2018
CAIRO – 4 January 2018: Pharaoh's island is a tiny island that gracefully stands surrounded by Taba’s turquoise water, located about seven kilometers south of Taba and positioned in the Gulf of Aqaba.

The island is known as the Coral Island as it is a small granite atoll surrounded by coral reefs which offers great diving sites such as the Picasso Reef; an underwater mountain that leads down 24 meters to huge table corals. At a depth of 12 meters, divers find themselves surrounded by a wide variety of colorful fish, including the famous Picasso Trigger fish.

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View of Salah El-Din Citadel Oct.8,2009- Wikimedia


The Pharaoh's island also features Salah El-Din Citadel, which was built by crusaders and later conquered and reconstructed by Salah El-Din, according to the Egyptian Tourism Authority.

Back in history, the island witnessed a battle in 1170, when the citadel was captured by Salah El-Din, who largely expanded the fortress. After that period, the Mamluks and Ottomans made some further improvements to the fortress.


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Salah El-Din Citadel at Pharaoh island Nov.12,2012 – Wikimedia / Diaa Meeky


The citadel’s history goes back to the time of Baldwin I, the King of Jerusalem in 1116 A.D., who mainly built this fortress in the center of a huge trade route between the Far East and Europe. Due to its location on high ground, the island is easily defended as it is positioned in the narrowest point in the Gulf of Aqaba.

During crusaders time, this fortress was used to collect taxes from Arab merchants, to attack Arab ships, and to protect pilgrims travelling between Jerusalem and the St. Catherine's Monastery.

The citadel encompasses many small rooms including sleeping quarters for troops, bath houses and kitchens with huge ovens; there are also towers for pigeons, which were used to relay messages.

Salah El-Din Citadel offers a stunning view over four of the most important countries: Egypt, Occupied Palestine, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, surrounded by clear, blue and tranquil water.

 
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