The Qaitbay Fort in Alexandria is considered one of the most important defensive strongholds, not only in Egypt but also along the Mediterranean seacoast. It formulated an important part of the fortification system of Alex in the 15th century A.D. About 1480 A.D, The Mameluk Sultan Al-Ashraf Qaitbay fortified the place as part of his coastal defensive edifices against the Turks, who were threatening Egypt at that time. He built the castle and placed a mosque inside it. The citadel continued to function during most of the Mameluke period, the Ottoman period and the modern period. But after the British bombardment of Alex city in 1883, it was kept out of the spotlight. It became neglected until the 20th century when it was restored several times by the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities.
The fort was built on Faros Island which once accommodated the ancient lighthouse. The lighthouse was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world consisted of 4 stories. The remains of the stones of the lighthouse was used as part of the fort.