Babylon Fortress


August 20, 2022

Babylon fortress in Coptic Cairo at the Mar Gerges metro station. Emperor Trajan ordered its construction in the second century AD during the Roman occupation of Egypt, and he worked in it for renovations, expansions and the strength of the Roman Emperor Arcadius in the fourth century, according to Mark Mark Samika Pasha. The fortress of Babylon (Trajan Castle) is different from the old fortress that the historian Strabo wrote about, and its location was in the south of Qasr al-Shama’, next to the present-day Babylon monastery. The remains of the fort are the oldest intact original buildings in Cairo.


Babylon, according to historians, was the name of the capital of a neighboring country, but there is a possibility that Babylon is associated with the old name Bar-Hapi-N-Iono (House of the Nile in Heliopolis). Elly was the center of worship of Hapi, the god of the Nile in Heliopolis.


The ancient Egyptians knew almost from the beginning that the area was on the borders of the Upper and Lower Egypt, and the kingdoms were originally between two independent states, and this was the greatest strategic location in all of Egypt. And of course, ancient Memphis, south of Cairo today, existed at least from the beginning of the unification of the kingdoms, and was considered the "center of balance of the two lands" (see: Babylon).

Build a fortress of Babylon

Stones were used in the construction of the Babylon Fortress, which were taken from Pharaonic temples and completed with red bricks, measuring 30/20/15 cm. The Babylonian fortress fell into the hands of Amr ibn al-Aas after a siege that lasted about seven months in the year 641. Amr ibn al-Aas chose a desert place that is considered militarily a strategic location north of the Babylonian fortress. He built the city of Fustat on a hill bordered by Mokattam Mountain from the east, and the Nile from the west. , and the ford of the turkey pond from the south, and they are natural barriers. Amr ibn al-Aas built the city of Fustat as a fortress city, and in it was the fortress of Babylon, so that it would remain a city for the Arab soldiers.

Effects of the fortress

The Roman fortress is known as the Wax Palace or the Babylon Fortress, and its area is about half a square kilometer, and its interior is the Coptic Museum, six Coptic synagogues and a monastery. The fort was called the Palace of Wax, because at the beginning of each month, it used to burn candles on one of the fort’s towers. When the sun appeared on it, people knew how to burn candles by moving the sun from one tower to the next. But it is possible that the name is distorted in Arabic from the fortress of “Khimy” which means the fortress of Egypt, and the rest of the fort’s buildings are the tribal gate and two large towers. Gerges the Roman for the Roman orthodox (the royalists), as for the rest of the