Site of the Massacre of the Mamluks


From the terrace near the Police Museum you can look down into the narrow entrance where 470 Mamluk beys (governors) were killed by Mohammed Ali's troops in 1811, thus ending Mamluk influence in Egypt and consolidating his rule. The Mamluks had been summoned to the citadel for a celebration but once they had entered, the gates were shut, trapping them in the defile and allowing troops loyal to Mohammed Ali to easily slaughter them.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Cairo attractions

1. Police Museum

0.04 MILES

The quirky but flyblown Police Museum is located within the Citadel's old prison building. Inside are displays of famous political assassinations,…

2. Citadel

0.15 MILES

Sprawling over a limestone spur on the city's eastern edge, the Citadel, started by Saladin in 1176 as a fortification against the Crusaders, was home to…

3. Mosque of An Nasir Mohammed

0.16 MILES

Dwarfed by Mohammed Ali’s mosque, this beautiful 1318 mosque is the only Mamluk work that Mohammed Ali didn’t demolish – instead, he used it as a stable…

4. Mosque of Mohammed Ali

0.17 MILES

Modelled on classic Ottoman lines, with domes upon domes upon domes, this alabaster-white mosque within the Citadel took 18 years to build (1830–48) and…

5. National Military Museum

0.19 MILES

Mohammed Ali’s one-time Harem Palace is now the lavish National Military Museum. It was closed for restoration on our last visit though unlike the other…

6. Mosque of Ar Rifai


Opposite the grand Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan, the Mosque of Ar Rifai is constructed on a similarly imposing scale, begun in 1869 and not finished…

7. Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan

0.21 MILES

Massive yet elegant, this grand structure is regarded as the finest piece of early Mamluk architecture in Cairo. It was built between 1356 and 1363 by…

8. Gawhara Palace & Museum

0.21 MILES

South of Mohammed Ali’s mosque is the Gawhara Palace & Museum, a lame attempt to evoke 19th-century court life, but it’s most often closed. There are…