Gates of Cairo
The gates of Cairo are the celestial guardians of the golden Islamic city of Cairo that stood the test of time for over eleven hundred years. They acted as the ultimate portal leading to one of the greatest Islamic monuments ever built in the history of the medieval ages. Many people from all over the world travel across oceans and deserts to catch a glimpse of these ancient colossal doors which shed light on the innovation and imagination behind the magnificent Islamic architecture. "Bab" is Arabic for "Door", "Gate" or "Entrance".
The main function of the gates was protection and guarding the essence of the city, and was also a priority. Through these heavenly gates are a number of the most marvelous works of Islamic art which shed light on the greatness behind the colossal gates of this immortal capital city. Qahiret Al Moez is a true national treasure that is made up of hundreds of tombs, mosques, mansions, madrasas, fortifications, and caravanserais that dates all the way to the golden Islamic age. Discover the immortal and hidden wonders of this glorious city that stood the test of time. Here is a list of top 30 gates of Cairo:
Overview of Cairo Gate's History
The magnificent city of Cairo gained the title of the stronghold and the citadel which possess the shape of a square that is 1100m2 in width and 1200m2 in length. The construction of the great gates of Cairo came to be in 969 AD by the ruler of the Fatimid caliphate to act as a defensive wall that offered a number of administrative purposes and management. The Fatimid dynasty created a second wall in 1902 AD in Cairo which possessed many fortified gates at the portals of Cairo in order to guard both the outer and inner areas of the capital.
Cairo in the Fatimid ages (969 – 1171 BC) was known as Cairo El Moez after the ruler El Moez Li-Dinellah Al Fatimi that was composed of four suburbs surrounded by a number of walls filled with magical gardens, majestic spots, and luxury buildings which was the home of many princes and rulers.
The Purpose of Cairo Gates
The main purpose of the gates was to offer defense and divide the city into different economical and social classes. Every single gate was carved with a number of incredible decorative features and artistic elements displaying many important facts about the ruler of the city plus his victories, faith, power, and influence. The gates of Cairo acted like modern-day passport control, which oversees the access and departure of people, goods, animals, and vehicles.
They also had very vital responsibility for their trade, taxation, security, military, health, and municipal authorities. The gates of Cairo were used to make a public announcement of any kind plus hand the beheaded public enemies and criminals. These fortified gates were very decorated with a number of inscriptions, sculptures, and ornaments with heraldic shields.
Many of the gates have been restored and rebuilt a number of times. The UNESCO organization labeled Oahiret El Muizz as a World Cultural Heritage site which acted as "One of the world's oldest Islamic cities, with its famous mosques, madrasas, hammams and fountains" and "the new center of the Islamic world, reaching its golden age in the 14th century".
1. Bab Zuweila
Bab Zuweila is one the biggest gates of the golden city of Cairo which was established in 1902 by Badr El Gamali across the southern wall and in Infront of the old Baba Zuweila that was made by Jawhar Al-Siqali in 969 AD. It consists of two adjacent openings. Above the gate, there are the two minarets of the Al-Malik Al-Muayyed Mosque, and there are people who call it Bab Al-Muayyed or Bab Al-Mutawali.
The gate of Zuweila shows many important historical events as the heads of the messengers of the leader of the Tatars Hulagu hung from the gate, and Toman bay the last Mamluk sultan also hung from the gate. It was named after a Berber tribe called Zuwayla who were stationed nearby. The gate is very rich in artistic detail and was the place where the annual Egyptian pilgrimages departed for Mecca.
2. Bab El Nasr (the Victory Gate)
The magnificent Victory gate is located in the proximity of the golden Khan El Khalili Bazaar, just east of Bab El Futuh. It was created by Jawhar Al-Siqali in 969 AD and was renovated in 1085 by Badr El Gamali. It is one of the most beautiful and only fully intact Islamic monuments which is made of two giant squares of magical sculptures of shields and swords. It is one of the most incredible military monuments ever made in Egypt dating to the medieval ages.
Within the heart of this huge divine gate is important information about the date of the construction and the name of the builder. There are stairs that lead to the highest door which possesses a stone building with an epic knot which is the first ever of its kind within Islamic architecture. When every army of Egypt wins a battle or a war they cross through this glorious gate. Some of the greatest rulers of Islamic Egypt such as Al-Zahir Baybars, Qalawun, Al-Ashraf Khalil, and Al-Nasser Muhammad bin Qalawun crossed this magnificent gate.
3. Bab El Fetouh
One of the most marvelous gates in Cairo is Bab El Fetouh which was built by Jawhar Al-Siqali in 969 AD and was renovated in 1087 by Badr El Gamali which are made of two fully rounded towers which an entrance found in the middle and two windows found on each side of the towers, one for observation while the other for defense. Located across their openings are a number of ornaments that are made of small columns. It is by far one of the most marvelous gates which are connected by a wall to Bab Al Nasr which connects them with some crypts.
4. El Bab Al-Akhdar "The Green Gate"
The green gate was made of a massive block of amazing engraved stone which is 6.65 m wide and 5.85 m high and is found aligned to the golden El Hussein Mosque from the northwest side. This amazing entrance of El Bab Al Akhdar is known to be 2.5 m high and 2 m wide. The gate is known to be the only Fatimid relic that acts as the only remaining part of Sultan El Hussein Tomb which was established to maintain his head in a silver box.
5. El Bab El-Gadid "The New Gate"
El Baba El Gadid was created in 1170 by Salah El Din El Ayouby and is found 150 m south of El Zaft tower. The new gate was called on the two forts gates in the golden Islamic period as it is made of two gates; one belongs od Salahdin while the other belongs to Mohamed Ali which is made up of a large tower & a small tower. The gate has the most magical architecture which makes it a very beautiful and great fortress due to the various inclinations located across its entrance.
6. Bab El Ser, El Jabel Citadel
El Ser Bab is a golden gate that was made to be the entrance for the elite, important state officials, ministers, clerks, and princes. It is famous today as the El Wastani gate which is Arabic for “The Middle Gate”. The gate is found in the middle gate which divides the citadel’s general marine door from Mohammed Ali Mosque and El Naser Mohamed Ibn Qalawoun Mosque.
7. Bab Sa’ada
Bab El Sa’ada is a magical gate found in Old Cairo across the western wall that is aligned to El Khalij El Masry's “Egyptian Gulf”. The gate of Happiness was constructed by Jawhar Al-Siqali in 969 AD during the time of creating the first wall. The gate has a clear connection to Sa’ada Ibn Hayan.
8. Bab El Selsela "Al Azab Gate"
Bab El Selsela "The Chain Gate" is an incredible piece of art which is known as the Arab gate which overlooks El Gabal Citadel and El Estabel Gate plus a number of large minarets. It holds some of the most marvelous art and architecture. The gate overlooks Salah El Din Square which are renewed in 1747 by price Radwan Katkhuda al-Halfi. Bab El Selsela is known as Al Azab gate where the famous massacre was committed by Mohamed Ali on the Mamalik in 1811 AD.
9. Bab El Ghory
The mesmerizing Gate of El Ghory is found in the heavenly Bazaar of Khan El Khalili which holds some of the most enchanting models of writings and engravings which was created by the command of price Konswa El Ghory. It was created in 1511 AD and held a door leading to a cotton agency called Bab Al-Sultan Al-Ghouri. This colossal gate is made of recessed stone which is covered with a civil necklace with a muqarnas chest, with descending tails plus decorated with holy calligraphy.
10. Bab El Wazir
Bab El Wazir is one of the most incredible gated found in the golden city of Cairo which is found on the outside rim of the capital and was created by salah El Din between El Jabel Citadel and El Maherouk gate. It was inaugurated in 1341 by the minister of Baghdad Negem El-Din Mohamed of king El Mansour Mohamed Ben Kalwori which would explain why it was known as Bab El Wazir.
11. Bab Qaitbay (Cemetery) "Qaitbay Gate"
Qaitbay Gate was created in 1494 and is found on the end of El Sayeda Aisha Street across the western side of Cairo which was named after the Ruler Ashraf Qayet Bei who made a number of renovations across the present gate and created El Sayeda Aisha Gate.
12. Bab Khan El Khalili
Khan EL Khalili gate was built by Prince Seif El-Din Gerkes El-Khalili in 1511 during the reign of El Zaher Barqouk who wished to make a distinct gate. This gate was destroyed and rebuilt during the reign of Sultan El Ghoury. It is known as Wakalet El Cotton which holds the most magical examples of writings and decorations despite the many changes that happened across the street.
He made two magical big large gates which has his names and titles across them. The gate is one of the most magical destinations in Cairo which hold the most incredible market place which is filled with many arts and crafts.
13. Bab El Husseinia
The El Husseinia gate is located in the golden city of Cairo connecting both Bab El Fetouh of El Geish Square and El Bayouin Street. This marvelous gate was destroyed and rebuilt in 1895 and holds some of the most marvelous works of art and architecture that stood the test of time.
14. Bab El Khalk
Bab El Khalk is located at the head of a road that is joined by Bab El Khalk Square which is known today as Taht El Rabie Street and Bab Zuweila. The gate was created by Ruler Negm El Din Ayoub in 1241 which was known as Bab El Kharek. It is now known today as Ahmed Maher Square and many people of the capital pass by it all day long.
15. Bab El Khokha
One of the most epic gates of Cairo that vanished over time is the Bab el Khoga which was created in the 14th century that is found across the western wall leading to El Kadi Mosque located at Zein El Abedeen Square in the golden El Nahrein Street. It is one of the most amazing and epic works of art ornamented with miscellaneous knots and ornamented with marvelous marble.
16. Bab El Shairia
Bab El Shairia is found at the northern wall of Cairo which was made by Salahdin in 1170 and is found west of the Arabian gulf between El Khalij and Bab El Bahr. The gate is found in Al Adawi Square at the head of Suk El Garayer. The gate has an opening from the outside which leads to El Adawi Square off El Fagala, El Zaafarani, and El Adawi streets. The gate was later removed in 1884 after the discovery of a number of cracks.
17. Bab El Tawfik
Bab El Tawfik is a magical gate found just 10 m west of Salahdin's eastern wall located on top of the ruins of the wall of Badr El Gamli wall that was created in 1097. The gate holds a number of incredible designs and artworks which will be a sight for sore eyes.
18. Bab Qasr El Selehdar
Bab Qasr El Selehdar was built in souk El Selah in 1347 and found near El Gay Youssefy School which is one of the last remaining palaces that was created by Prince Meng El Selehdar. The gate is home to a number of writings and decorations covering the entrance’s dome which indicate the titles and names of the builder.
19. Bab El Qela
Bab El Qela is found on the great interior walls of the northeast part of El Jabel Citadel, these walls are found separated behind the sultan floor and the general gate. It became known by that name because the builders of the high towers of the gate were Zaher Bebers. A number of changes happened to the gate as the dome was added by king el Mansour and then destroyed by ruler El Naser Mohamed Ben Qalawon, later on, the gate was renewed.
20. Bab El Qantara
The incredible gate of El Qantara was made in 1173 by Salah El Din El Ayoubi on the eastern front of El Khalij road. The name of the gate comes from its location as it is found across El Qantara which was constructed by Gawhar El Sakaly on El Khalij. The gate is now destroyed and some ruins of the gate are still located, connecting Amir El Geioush Street and El Khalij Street.
21. Bab of Darb El Laban
Darb Al-Laban Gate was made between 1250 and 1382 which was made in the Bahari Mameluke period from limestone taken from the pyramids. It is one of the oldest gates that was built to mark the entrance of the golden city of Cairo. It is famous for having the fourth largest Bimaristan (hospital) in the Islamic world.
22. Bab El Barkia
The gate of bliss consists of two gates, the first door was built by Gawhar El Sakaly, when the first wall was made which became known as Bab El Ghareeb that was demolished in 1936 and replaced by the current Al Azhar University. The second gate was created in 1184 by Salahdin in eastern Cairo in order to branch out the limit of the capital and expand the city limits.
23. Bab El Eid
Bab al-Eid is a marvelous creation made in the Fatimid era by Jawhar al-Siqali in order to be one of the nine gates of the eastern palace. It is a very popular destination for the ruler to walk and spent their days at the Mosque found on Qasr El Shawk Street.
24. Bab El Zumered
The Emerald Gate was made in the Fatimid period, Jawhar al-Siqali in 969 AD. It is one of the nine gates of the eastern palace, and it is known that the caliph used to walk from it and then headed to the shore of the Nile River to spend his day.
25. Bab El Dahab
The Gate of Gold was built in the blessed Fatimid state by Jawhar al-Siqali in 969 AD as one of the nine gates of the eastern palace. It is known that a number of processions and statesmen entered through it, and it was facing the Mansouri Bimaristan which was the third-largest hospital in Egypt and the fourth-largest in the Islamic world.
26. Bab El Zahuma
The door of Al-Zahuma was made in the Fatimid state by Jawhar al-Siqali in 969 AD as is one of the nine gates of the eastern palace. The gate had doors leading to the kitchens of the palace where the food, especially meat was prepared. The smell of cooked meat radiated across the entire area from this blessed area.
27. Qasr El Shawk Bab
The epic Gate of the Palace of Thorns was created in the Fatimid state, Jawhar al-Siqali in 969 AD as one of the nine gates of the Eastern Palace, and it was called the Gate of the Palace of Thorns as it lead directly to the Palace of Thorns.
28. Bab Al-Dheisheh
The gate of Amazement is one of the gates of the Citadel of the Mountain, and it was named after the astonishing Hall that was in the castle and built by the golden Sultan Imad Eddin Ismail in the year 1344 AD to became an immortal piece of art and wonder. It was known by that name due to her majesty and legendary decorations.
29. Bab Al Shariya
Bab al-Shariya used to be in the northern wall built by Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi in 1170 AD west of the Egyptian Gulf, between the Gulf and Bab al-Bahr. It was removed in 1884 AD due to a defect in it.
30. Bab El Hadid
The iron gate was built by Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi in 1174 AD. It was also known as Bab Al-Qashi and Bab Al-Maqsa because it was in the village of Al-Maqsa. it was known as Bab Al-Hadid, Bab el Bahr “ The River Gate” with time and Ramses Square. The waters of the Nile River passed by this field until the course of the Nile changed to the west of the area of Bulaq.
The heritage of the golden capital city of Cairo can be seen across the immortal gates of Cairo which shows the marvelous history and culture of Egypt that stood the test of time. With our Cairo tours, everyone will have the holiday of a lifetime filled with images of greatness, amazement, and bliss.
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How many gates are there in Cairo?
Cairo used to be filled with countless gates that acted as the main entrances of the capital city. There are only a few gates across the capital city that remain intact.
What Should I Wear While Being in Egypt?
You should wear whatever you want. It is advised to wear something light from cotton or linen, comfortable and put on sunblock during your time in Egypt in the summer and wear comfortable footwear like a closed-toe shoe to sustain the sandy terrain.
What to Pack for Your Egypt Tour?
You should bring a brimmed hat and sunglasses if you not used to the Egyptian sun &pack everything you could ever need and put in a small bag so you could move easily between your destinations.
Are All Nile Cruises Available at Any Time?
Yes, it is available all years. as the Nile from Aswan to Luxor takes three to four days of sailing on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the total cost of 600$ and the Nile cruise from Luxor to Aswan take four to five days in Saturday, Monday and Thursday for the coast of 650$.
Why book Trips in Egypt?
We have experience in vacation planning for more than 10 years & our staff consists of the most professional operators, guides and drivers who dedicate all of their time & effort create the perfect vacation. All of our tours are customized by Travel, Financial & Time advisors to fit your every possible need during your time in egypt. we always keep in mind that your safety & comfort are our main priority until you return home.
Is it safe to travel to Egypt?
Yes, it is absolutely safe to travel to egypt, You will feel secure in Egypt as the current atmosphere of the country is very peaceful after the government took powerful measures like restructuring the entire tourist police to include all the important and tourist attractions in Egypt and construct an entire environment dedicated for ensuring the lives of all tourists.
What are Egypt's Visa Requirements?
They are very simples, If you want to apply for a Visa On Arrival that lasts for 30 days then you should be one of the eligible countries(check the link), have a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining and pay 25$ USD entry fee in cash. As for the E-Visa for 30 days, you should have a valid passport for at least 8 months, complete the online application, pay the e-visa fee then print the e-visa to later be presented to the airport border guard. You could be one of the countries eligible for a free visa for 90 days.
What is the Weather is Like?
The temperature of Egypt ranges from 37c to 14 c, Summer in Egypt is somehow hot and winter is cool and mild but sometimes it becomes cold at night. The average of low temperatures vary from 9.5 ¡ÆC in the wintertime to 23 ¡ÆC in the summertime and average high temperatures vary from 17 ¡ÆC in the wintertime to 32 ¡ÆC in the summertime while the temperature is moderate all along the coasts.
What is the Best Time of Visit Egypt?
It is known the best time to travel to Egypt is in the winter from September to April as the climate becomes a bit tropical, a warm atmosphere with a winter breeze. You will also be notified a week before your trip if the weather is unsafe or if any changes have been made.
Should I Give Tips in Egypt?
It is totally up to you, but if you choose to you can tip the servers at your restaurant 5-10% by handing it to them directly and 5 Egyptian Pounds as a general tip of anyone.
Can I Enter the Pyramids?
Yes, you can enter the pyramids for the small fee of 20$.
How to Enjoy Egypt During Ramadan?
Ramadan is a special time of year for Muslims that should be celebrated by non-Muslims and feel the essence of the Islamic culture. You can fast with the Muslim or just observe but you are always welcome to join the celebrations and festivals.