Fort Qaitbey

Fort in Alexandria

The Eastern Harbour is dominated by the bulky walls of Fort Qaitbey, built on a narrow peninsula over the remains of the legendary Pharos lighthouse by the Mamluk sultan Qaitbey in 1480. Finely restored, it has a warren of rooms to explore, and the walk here is just as rewarding. From Midan Ramla it's a 30- to 45-minute stroll along the Corniche with spectacular harbour views along the way.

The Pharos lighthouse, which had been in use for some 17 centuries, was destroyed by an earthquake in 1303 and lay in ruins for more than 100 years before Qaitbey ordered the fortification of the city’s harbour. Material from the fallen Pharos was reused, and if you get close to the outer walls, you can pick out some great pillars of red granite, which in all likelihood came from the ancient lighthouse. Other parts of the ancient building are scattered around the nearby seabed.

If you don't feel like a seaside walk, take yellow tram 15 from Midan Ramla to get here or flag down a microbus along the Corniche. A taxi should cost LE10 to LE15.


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