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Bab Zuwayla


Gates was built to protect Cairo, beceause it was the most important city in Egypt, it was the capital when Gawhar el Saqally open Egypt in Fatemid period, when El Moi'ez ledin ELLah EL Fatemi was the Soltan of Moslims.



Cairo was called the citadel or tabia or forte, i.e. stronghold. It looked like a square; 1200m2 in length and 1100m2 in width. It was surrounded with El Bahr El Azeim (the great sea) from the east, the gulf from the west, from the north gardens extended to Mataria and the mount Gabal El Guishi from the south.

When the Fatimid reign (969-1171) settled in Cairo under the leadership of El Moez Li-Dinellah it was called "Cairo of El Moez" because they decorated its four suburbs with luxurious buildings, delightful spots and gardens. This increased its delightfulness and beauty. It was the settlement of rulers and princes.

El Fostat city was big and important due to plenty of buildings, many people and much of livelihood means, that is why Gawhar El Sakaly was so keen on it. He established the fortified gates (bab) and installed them around it in the four-sided wall. He built El Kantara at Bab El Shairia Street. He also built a wall to quickly surround the Palace. But this was destroyed completely.
Multi purposes
Those gates did not only defend the country against enemies, but were built also for management and administrative purposes. No one was allowed to enter Cairo or stay there except for its residents, or those who go in for certain reasons and in daytime only.
Al-Khayameya street leading to Bab Zuweila
The prince of armies, Badr El Gamali, in 1087, built Bab El Fetouh, Bab El Nasr and Bab Zuweila - all were built of storeys. Cairo gates at that time were eight on each side.
Saladin El-Ayoubi built the third wall in 1171. He wanted to surround Cairo, Misr El Kadeima Citadel with one wall extended from Bab El Kantara till Bab El Shairia, from Bab El Shairia to Bab El Bahr, from El Makasi Citadel at the end of the northern wall to the River Nile beside El Makasi Mosque. Saladin wished that this wall would join with the one from Bab El Nasr to El Zafar Tower, then on to Bab El Barkia, then Bab El Wazir.
Unfortunately, all such dreams did not come true, due to Saladin's death. Some of Cairo Gates still exist and others are no more.



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Bab Zuwayla  
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