The fort was built in about 1480 by Sultan Qaitbay,
the then Burgi
Mamluk ruler of Egypt. The site of the fort was once occupied
by the famous ancient lighthouse of Alexandria
one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
The lighthouse was subject to earthquakes and despite efforts
of some Arab rulers to restore it; it finally collapsed in a
14th century tremor. Qaitbay used its debris in the construction
of his fort.
The fort itself suffered the British
bombardment in 1882 but was restored and now it is in a
very good condition.
The upper level of the fort has a minor museum featuring weapons
used in the past.