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The Citadel was built by Salâḥ ad-Din (Saladin), whu began it in 1176-7 and finished it in 1207-8; the architect's name was Karakûsh.
The stones used were taken from the pyramids of Gizah ; it formed a part of the large system of the fortifications of Cairo with which this Sulțân protected the city. Though admirably situated for commanding the whole city, and as a jurtress in the days before long range cannon were invented, the site was shown in 1805 to be ill chosen for the purposes uf defence in modern times by Muhammad ‘Ali, who, by means of a battery placed on the Muḥattam heights, compelled Khurshid Pâshâ to surrender the citadel. In the narrow way, with a high wall, through the Báb al-Azah, which was formerly the most direct and most used means of access to it, the massacre of the Mamlûks took place by the orders of Muhammad ‘Ali, on March ist, 181. Thu single Mamlak who escaped is said to have made his horse leap down from one of the walls of the Citadel ; he refused to enter the narrow way.
This well is not called after Joseph the Patriarch, as is usually supposed, but after the famous Salah ad-Din (Saladini. whose first name was Yûsuf or Joseph. The shaft of this well, in two parts, is about 289 feet deep, and was found to be choked up with sand when the Citadel was built : Saladin caused it to be cleared out, and from his time until 1865 its water was regularly drawn up and used. This well was probably sunk by the ancient Egyptians.
The Museum of Arab Art and Khedivial Library.
Entrance Fee, 5 piastres.
Fee, i piastre. This Museum is closed on Fridays and holidays. The collections which illustrate Arab art are arranged in a buildirg close to the Mosque of Al-Hakim, and are well worth a visit. The foundation of a Museum of this kind was ordered by Isma'il Pasha in 1869, who commissioned Franz Pâshâ to make collections of all objects which illustrated the development of Arab art; these arranged in the arcades of the Liwân of the Mosque of AlHakim. Nothing, however, was done in the way of providing a special location for the collections until 1881, when the Government decided to build a museum ; the courtyard of the mosque was selected as the site, and a museum was built there in 1883. In 1892 Herz Bey was appointed Keeper of the collections. As soon as it became understood that a special building had been erected for works of Arab art, the collections increased with great rapidity, and it was decided by the Government to provide more accommodation for them on a site in the Midân Bâb al-Khalk, together with new rooms for the Khedivial Library. The new Museum was finished in 1903, and Herz Bey removed his collections into it in the same year. The traveller is referred to his excellent “ Catalogue Sommaire," published in Cairo in 1894, for detailed descriptions of the splendid Arab glass lamps, and the other objects worth examination, which are under his care.
The lower portion of the building has been devoted to the housing of the Khedivial Library which was founded by
Isma'îl Pâshâ, and is said to contain about 50,000
In Ramadân, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Library is open daily, Fridays and holidays excepted, Admission to the Reading Room and Exhibition Room is free. The Library receives an annual grant of £E.4,000 from the Government, and £E.500 from the Wakfs Administration. The first Librarian was the eminent Arabic scholar, Dr. Stern, who was succeeded by Dr. Spitta Bey, the author of several works on modern Egyptian Arabic, and he was in turn succeeded by Dr. Vollers ; the present Librarian is Dr. Moritz. The total cost of the new Museum and the fittings for the Library has been £E.66,000, and it is characteristic of the feelings entertained among natives in respect of the ancient monuments of the country, that this expenditure has been the subject of much animadversion and criticism in native quarters.
On December 31, 1904, the number of volumes in the Library was 56,330, 23,939 being in the European, and 32,391 in the Oriental Department. The collection of Kur'âns is unique, and comprises no less than 2,677 volumes. In the Persian section are the manuscripts from the library of the late Mustafa Fadil Pâshâ. In 1904 the Reading Room was used by 3,331 persons, as compared with 2,582 in 1903. About 15,000 volumes were issued for use to these students. 926 volumes were lent out for use off the premises. The number of visitors to the Museum is about 2,000 annually. The Coin Collection contains about 3,528 pieces.
The Zoological Gardens.
These Gardens were established in 1891, and enlarged in 1898 and 1903 ; they cost £, E. 7,400, and their upkeep costs about £E.4,000 a year.
The area of the Gardens is about 52 acres.
From 1899 to 1904 the numbers of the visitors and the gate-money were as follows :-
Visitors. Gate-money in £E. 1899
The total receipts for 1904 were £ E.4,868, and the total expenditure £E.4,678. At the end of 1904 there were in the Gardens :
The gardens are open daily.
Entrance Fees :
Weekdays, - piastre each person.
Sundays, 5 piastres
Under the capable management of the Director, Captain Stanley Flower, the Gardens are becoming a most pleasant place of recreation, and a valuabie means of education in all that appertains to the birds, animals, etc., of North-east Africa
The Aquarium at Gazîra.
An Aquarium was established at Gazîra in November, 1902, at a cost of £E.1,150, and placed under the direction of Captain Flower. It contains a number of varieties of Nile fish, which have never before been kept in captivity. The gardens are beau'iful, and are well worth visiting.
Hours of opening :—Daily, from 8.30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Entrance Fees -One half-piastre on weekdays, and two piastres on Sundays.
This garden or “place," named after the Amîr Ezbeki, the general of Ķâ'it Bey (A.D. 1468-1496), was made in 1870 by M. Barillet, and has an area of about twenty acres.
Bridges. Bridges. The river at Cairo is spanned by three Bridges, and the construction of a fourth is contemplated. The oldest bridge is that of Kașr an-Nil, commonly called by the natives “ Al-Kubri”; it has on each end of it a pair of fine bronze lions. Though comparatively broad the roadway has been wholly insufficient for the traffic, which in recent years has grown enormously, and the Cairenes have suffered great inconvenience from the "cutting" or "opening” of the bridge each day to permit of the passage of boats up and down the river. The offices of the Octroi, which has now been abolished, were on the left at the western end of the bridge. The sight of the villagers bringing their vegetable produce into the city on strings of camels and donkeys during the early hours of the day is a