Rosetta’s Citadel of Qaitbay is safe, open after heavy rainfall: Egyptian official

Nevine El-Aref , Saturday 4 Dec 2021

Rosetta’s Citadel of Qaitbay, commonly known as Fort Julien, is safe and open to visitors in the Egyptian city of Rashid after its vicinity was flooded by rainwater, a senior antiquities official said Saturday.

Qayetbay citadel

The water accumulated within the citadel’s walls was pumped out, said Osama Talaat, the head of the Islamic, Coptic, Jewish Antiquities Sector at the Ministry of Tourism.

Photos showing the 15th-century citadel, built by Mamluk Sultan Qayetbay, flooded with water following the rainfall last week went viral on social media in the past few days.

In statements to the media during his visit to the citadel Saturday, Talaat said that the citadel suffered from a rise in the groundwater level as it located on the Nile in Rosetta, and several years ago a groundwater lowering project was implemented and it still works efficiently.

He added that the pumping system of the machines in the project was inspected before the recent rain wave, but because of the heavy rains and the operation of the pumps for long times, one of the pumping machines broke down suddenly and stopped, which led to the accumulation of water within the citadel's walls.

 Accordingly, a direct pumping system was then operated, and the water was pumped out of the citadel which is now opened to visitors as normal, Talaat added.

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