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xDiscover Al-Gundi Fortress

About 60 km to the east of the city of Ras Sedr lies El Gundi Fortress (Qalaat Al-Gindi or Jundi) which was erected by Saladin (Salah ad-Din) in 1165 AD. This fortification had a prominent role in the battles of this great Muslim leader. This archeological site comprises the ruins of a 12th-century fort built in a strategic location where three caravan routes converge. Almost in the middle of South Sinai, the fort was originally built to protect roads of pilgrimage from Africa to Mecca and trade caravans from Africa to Asia. It was also meant to serve as a base to launch attacks on the crusaders who had reached Jerusalem at that time. The fort was established above the uniquely-shaped hill of Ras Al Jundi (nearly 2150 feet in height above sea level) which guards the entrance of one of the main valleys on the eastern side of Sinai. At this height, one can behold beautiful views and magnificent landscapes all around. One can enjoy viewing the fort’s impressive extant outer walls which are more than 2 meters in height. Inside the walls, one can see a great number of well-preserved large vaulted rooms and a large vaulted water cistern. Enclosed within the fortress were found shops. Noticeably, a Fatimid-styled Mihrab dominates the fortress.

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