Babylon Fortress, Cairo

Babylon Fortress, Cairo

The Babylon Fortress is often called the birthplace of Cairo. It is the oldest part of the city and dates back to the Bronze Age.

The Babylon Fortress gets its name from Babylon in Mesopotamia. It is believed that the area was once ruled by the Mesopotamian King, Nebuchadnezzar. It was later the site where the Roman Emperor Trajan placed his legions to subjugate the people of Egypt. At the time it marked the boundary between Middle and Lower Egypt. Today it is part of Coptic Cairo where the Christian population of the city lives. When the Arabs invaded Egypt, the fortress defended the city for seven months before falling to the army led by General Amr Ibn Al As.

Today the Babylon Fortress has several Coptic structures built into its walls. The towers are 10 meters high and have a diameter of 31 meters. It has a pattern typical of Roman fortresses with five blocks of limestone and three blocks of brick. There are six Coptic churches, a convent and the Coptic Museum within the walls. It is also called the Qasr el Shamee or the Palace of Candles because candles illuminated the towers on the first of every month.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Cairo. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Babylon Fortress on Map

Sight Name: Babylon Fortress
Sight Location: Cairo, Egypt (See walking tours in Cairo)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Cairo, Egypt

Create Your Own Walk in Cairo

Create Your Own Walk in Cairo

Creating your own self-guided walk in Cairo is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Old Cairo Walking Tour

Old Cairo Walking Tour

Old Cairo is called so because it is the ancient part of Cairo, and predates what is now called Cairo. Some Egyptologists think that there was a settlement here as far back as the 6th century BC. The Romans constructed a tower here named Babylon. Later, it became a Christian stronghold, with as many as 20 churches erected within a surface of one square mile. Take this walking tour to find out more...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles
Islamic Structures Walk

Islamic Structures Walk

The beautiful historical mosques of Cairo will impress any visitor. There is a significant variety of them here, dating from the earliest periods of Islam up to modern times. This self guided walking tour will take you through to the most remarkable Islamic structures in Cairo.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Cairo Downtown Walking Tour

Cairo Downtown Walking Tour

The area occupied by present-day Cairo has been the center of Egypt since the days of the pharaohs. The strategic location at the base of the Nile River delta first hosted the town of Memphis, the epicenter of trade, culture, and religion. By the fourth century, Memphis was in decline, and the Romans established the Babylon fortress. The Babylon is the oldest structure in the city today. When the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles

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