About Bab al-Nasr
Islamic Cairo’s Bab al-Nasr is currently one of three remaining gates which are set in the walls of the Old City. This towering fortified gate with massive three-storey stone towers on each side flanks an arched gateway.
Exploring the walls of Bab al-Nasr provides you with excellent insight into the purpose of this imposing structure, slit windows providing light to rooms and storage spaces within the wall, making it possible for an army to defend the city without ever having to leave it.
The history of Bab al-Nasr
By the time of the powerful Fatimid vizier Badr al-Jamali, who ruled Egypt from 1074 to 1094, Cairo had outgrown the sun-dried brick wall of Jawhar. This, coupled with the attempts of the Turkoman Atsiz to take Cairo, among other threats from the East, spurred al-Jamali to rebuild the walls of the city, including three new gates.
The Gate (Bab) of al-Futuh, along with the Bab al-Nasr was built in 1087, and the Bab Zuwayla was built in 1092.
An Armenian himself, al-Jamali is reported to have employed Armenians from northern Mesopotamia as well as Syrians in a vast building campaign which he embarked on shortly after he assumed power. This work marks the beginning of a newly cultivated taste for stone in Cairo.
The Bab al-Nasr marks the northern limits respectively of the Fatimid city and function as termini for al Mu'iz Street, the major Fatimid north-south spine where Le Riad de Charme is located.
Getting to Bab al-Nasr from the Le Riad Hotel de Charme
The fortified gate of Bab al-Nasr is situated 500 metres from the hotel, which is approximately about a 5 minute walk. By car, it may actually take you a minute longer to get there, depending on traffic congestion. For directions, please use the map below.