The Citadel of Qaitbay is among one of the defensive fortresses of 15th-century located on the Mediterranean Sea coast, in Alexandria, Egypt. Sultan Al-Ashraf Sayf al-Din Qa’it Bay has established in 1477 AD. The renowned Qaitbay Citadel in Alexandria is considered one of the most important defensive strongholds, not only in Egypt, but also along the Mediterranean Sea coast which made it more significant. It formulated an important part of the fortification system of Alexandria in the 15th century AD.
It is situated at the entrance of the eastern Harbour on the eastern point of the Pharos Island. It was erected on the exact site of the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The lighthouse continued to function until the time of the Arab conquest, then several disasters occurred and the shape of the lighthouse was changed to some extent, but it still continued to function. Restoration began in the period of Ahmed Ibn Tulun. During the 11th century an earthquake occurred, which damaged the octagonal part. The bottom survived, but it could only serve as a watchtower, and for convenience a small mosque was built on the top. In the 14th century there was a havoc earthquake and the whole building was completely ruined.
A misfortune happened when the Ottoman military became weak; the Citadel began to lose its military significance. In 1798 AD, the Citadel fell into the hands of the French troops, during the French expedition to Egypt. The main reason behind this was the power of the French modern weapons at that time.
The worst time in history arrived in July, 11 1882 when the British fleet bombarded Alexandria violently and damaged a large part of the city, especially in the area of the Citadel. This attack cracked the fortress, causing great damage.