Bab al‑Futuh (Gate of Conquests) is
one of the gates in the northern wall of Fatimid Cairo. It opens onto the
historic al‑Mo’ez Street, which leads to the only surviving southern gate of
the city, Bab Zuwayla.
It was built by the vizier and
commander‑in‑chief, Badr al‑Gamali, during the reign of the Fatimid Caliph
al‑Mustansir Billah. This stone structure was built farther north than the
older, brick, gate of Jawhar al‑Siqilli, thus both giving the city room to
expand, as well as tougher defenses.
Bab al‑Futuh and Bab al‑Nasr, both
of which were built in 480 AH/1087 AD, along with Bab Zuwayla (480 AH/1092 AD),
are among the rare examples of military architecture in the Islamic world prior
to the Crusades.
As its dating inscription attests,
this gate was founded as Bab al-Iqbal (Gate of Prosperity), but the inhabitants
of Cairo continued to refer to it by the name of the older monument it
replaced, Bab al‑Futuh.
The two towers of the gate have
rounded fronts, and are linked by a platform, which features shafts in its
floor through which boiling oil could be poured on invaders. The arch is
splayed, and decorated with a lattice of diamonds, each containing a sculpted
shape. Also worth noting are the beautifully decorated corbel stones above the
Source: Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities