The Citadel was fortified by the Ayyubid ruler Salah al-Din (Saladin) between 1176 and 1183 CE, to protect it from the Crusaders, its part of the Muqattam Hill near the center of the city.

The Citadel is one of the world's greatest monuments to medieval warfare, as well as a highly visible landmark on Cairo's eastern skyline.
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