Citadel (Salah Al-Din)Approx. Time: 3 hours
Activity Level: Easy to Moderate

One of Cairo's most popular tourist attractions is the Citadel, located on a spur of limestone that had been detached from its parent Moqattam Hills by quarrying. The Citadel began its life not as a great military base of operations, but as the "Dome of the Wind," a pavilion created in 810 by Hatim Ibn Hartama, who was then governor. These early governors, not realizing its strategic importance, simply used the pavilion for the view it provided of Cairo. In 1176, Salah ad-Din fortified the area to protect it against attacks by the Crusaders, and since then, it has never been without a military garrison.

The Citadel is a medieval fortress containing three major mosques and several museums.

Courtesy of Egypt Tourism Board