All you need to know about Cairo Citadel Aqueduct



Mon, 10 Aug 2020 - 02:12 GMT


Mon, 10 Aug 2020 - 02:12 GMT

An 1838 illustration of the Fumm al-Khalig water intake tower – David Roberts

An 1838 illustration of the Fumm al-Khalig water intake tower – David Roberts

CAIRO – 10 August 2020: The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has published photos of the ongoing restoration of Cairo Citadel Aqueduct or Mamluk Aqueduct, to be completed according to the timetable set for 2021.


This comes within the framework of the ministry's project to restore the historical wall and the surrounding area. It has turned into an important tourist attraction and will soon become one of the most important tourist and entertainment spots in Cairo.


The Aqueduct was established to carry water to the citadel, more than 600 years ago during the reign of Sultan Al-Nasir Salah Al-Din Al-Ayyubi, the founder of the Ayyubid State in Egypt (from 1169 AD until 1193).


It was built in Misr al-Qadima area to transport- through a water channel- water lifted from one of the wells near the Citadel, which was the seat of government in the era of the Ayyubid State, and to deliver water from the Nile to the Citadel through streams; then a group of huge wells was formed.


Al-Nasir Muhammad ibn Qalawun set up the aqueduct of Fum al-Khaleej to deliver the water of the Nile to the Citadel of the Mountain. It still remains to date. 


For when he wanted to supply the castle with more water, he ordered a well to be dug on the coast of the Nile, and he set up arches on top of the ancient arches (the wall of Salah al-Din), where there is another stream of water from two wells: the well of Sur Salah al-Din, and the well of Qanater, which becomes one water that runs to the castle


This was around the year 1312 AD, but he passed before completing this work. This stream was repaired in the year 812 AH - 1408 with the mediation of Emir Yalbugha al-Salmi. Then Sultan Al-Ghawri rebuilt it in the year 911 AH -1505. During the Ottoman era, Abdi Pasha repaired some of its parts in the year 1140 AH - 1728.


When the French campaign came, its men blocked most of the arches and used it as a defense fence. Overtime, it was neglected and people started building near the north and south of the well, until it began to be repaired prior to the revolution, as its men realized the importance of constructing a road between the Citadel and Qasr al-Aini Street.


The project was implemented in a few months, after all the dilapidated buildings blocking the road had been removed.


Nothing remains of the ancient arches that Salah al-Din partially built except for a few remains at the beginning of the course from the side of the castle facing the Mosque of Sayyida Aisha.


The wall of Cairo’s Citadel Aqueduct is distinguished by its area that reached 3500 meters and its distinctive architectural Islamic style that uses "sculpted" stone to build the wall that starts from Fumm Al-Khaleej to the area of Sayyida Aisha. The wall also consists of a tower called the Al- Makhath Tower that contains six wells. This tower is divided into several contracts responsible for carrying the water canal.




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