The Citadel was established by Sultan Al AshrafAbul -Nasr Qaitbay Al Mahmoudy , he is the king number 41in the Turkish kings ruling Egypt and number 15 from the Burji kings. He graduated in positions until he reached the Sultanate in 872 H. / 1467 AD. He died in 901 H. / 1495 AD. and was buried in his school (Madrasa) in Cairo dessert.
Sultan Qaitbay travelled to Alexandria in the month of Rabi I, 882 H. / 1478 AD. Heheaded to the old lighthouse and ordered a huge tower to be built on its base. In the month of shabaan 884H. / 1479 AD., the king travelled again to Alexandria to see his tower after it was completed.
This Citadel was built to fortify and defend Alexandria city from invasions, especially from the Ottoman Empire which changed the direction of its conquests from Europe to the Islamic East. That is why King Qaitbay decided to fortify all frontiers and started to build a number of new fortifications.
The Citadel is a rectangular area 150 m. X130 m. , surrounded by the sea from the three sides, it has a main entrance in the southern west in the shape of two towers taking the shape of three quarter of a circle.The Citadel has two fences representing spots of defense.A mosque in the north east was annexed and it consists of a middle Durkasurrounded by fourIwans. In the Citadel also, there is a huge cistern to save fresh water for the use of the inhabitants of the Citadel.