Fortress of Shali
Just above the entrance to the Fortress of Shali is the old mosque with its distinctive chimney-shaped minaret.
King Fuad Mosque
The King Fuad Mosque is a prominent landmark in the centre of Siwa Town.
The hippest cafe-restaurant in Siwa sits on a shaded rooftop overlooking the central square. Choose a regular table with chairs or...
Named after the historical divide between the two parts of Siwa Town, this restaurant serves a cheaper, more pedestrian version of...
Fortress of Shali information
Central Siwa is dominated by the spectacular organic shapes of the remains of this 13th-century mud-brick fortress. Built from kershef (chunks of salt from the lake just outside town, mixed with rock and plastered in local clay), the labyrinth of huddled buildings was originally four or five storeys high and housed hundreds of people. A path leads over the slumping remnants, past the Old Mosque with its chimney-shaped minaret, to the top for panoramic views.
For centuries, few outsiders were admitted inside the fortress – and even fewer came back out to tell the tale. But three days of rain in 1926 caused more damage than any invader had managed and, over the last decades, inhabitants moved to newer and more comfortable houses with running water and electricity. Now only a few buildings around the edges are occupied or used for storage.