Bab Zuwaila

Bab Zuwayla, built in 1092, is one of three remaining gates in the City Walls, marking the southern limit of the Fatimid City of Cairo. It was constructed by the powerful Fatimid vizier Badr al-Jamali, who ruled Egypt from 1074 to 1094. It has twin minarets, which can be accessed via a steep climb. Bab Zuwayla was constructed, along with Bab al-Futuh and Bab al-Nasr, during the Fatimid period. An Armenian himself, Badr al-Jamali is reported to have employed Armenians from northern Mesopotamia, as well as Syrians, in a vast building campaign, which he started shortly after he assumed power. This work marks the beginning of a newly cultivated taste for stone in Cairo

The façade of Bab Zuwaila and the minaret of Al-Mu'ayyad Sheikh mosque


The Bab Zuweila has two parallel towers made in large limestone blocks, each with a semi-circular façade. This was a defensive structure meant to provide strength. The sides of the towers are adorned with two identical entrances. An open passageway leading to the opening of the entrance door,. The tower also includes two defensive rooms with three openings each, each covering a cross vault. The Sultan Al-Muyyad Sheikh later removed the roof of these two blocks to build the two minarets of his mosque in 815 AH (1415 AD).

The façade of The two Towers of Bab Zuwaila

people are checking in Bab Zuwaila

The “Comité de Conservation des Monuments de l’Art Arabe” restored Bab Zuwaila more than once starting in 1883 after the collapse of some parts. Recently, the gate was restored in between 2000 and 2003 by the American Research Center with funding from the United States Agency for International Development.

During the restoration


Bab Zuwaila

Location:Cairo, Egypt
Coordinates:30.0428° N, 31.2578° E
Built:Est. 485 AH / 1092 AD.
Governing body:Ministery of Antiquities.
Architectural Type:Fatimid City wall
Architectural style:Fatimid.

Three pointe arch

Architectural elements