This small fortress was built in 1571 to provide Ottoman troops with control to the port and therefore passage to Mecca. Modified several times by the French and then by the British, who permanently altered the fortress by firing some 6000 cannonballs upon it during a heated battle in the 19th century, it was used until 1975 by the Egyptian coast guard. A recent renovation has made it the best sight in town.
Much of the original exterior walls remain intact and the interior has been well renovated. Some rooms have interesting information boards documenting the history of Al Quseir, the trade conducted here and the people of the region. The North Bastion has a small exhibition about the local Ababda tribe and elsewhere there are displays explaining the trading routes across the desert to the Nile and down the Red Sea, as well as explanations of what was traded. A staircase in the watchtower gives wide views of the town and port.