Schlagwort-Archive: fortified ports

Alexandria’s Urban Fortifications under Mamluk and Ottoman Rule

Strongholds of the World Lecture Series, Part 3 – now online on youtube! See beyond!

with Dr. Kathrin Machinek, Alexandria

Interdisciplinary lecture series of the Marburger Arbeitskreises für europäische Burgenforschung e.V., Germany, and Aarhus University, research programme “Materials, Culture and Heritage”, Denmark

Alexandria, fort Qaitbay

Alexandria’s urban fortifications under Mamluk and Ottoman rule

This session from our lecture series “Strongholds of the World” sheds light upon the defense systems of the Mamluk and Ottoman period Alexandria. Alexandria, Egypt’s main seaport on the Mediterranean shore, was often praised by travelers from the past for its impressive fortifications. Nowadays, only few remnants exist of the former urban defense system, the city walls, forts and watchtowers having almost entirely been demolished in the late 19th century by the rapidly expanding modern city.

As a coastal border town, medieval Alexandria was constantly a target for enemy invasions, thus the various Islamic rulers kept renovating and modernizing the fortifications. After the disastrous raid of Alexandria by the Cypriots in 1365, the Mamluk sultans repaired the damages and established new strongholds. In 1477, the entrance to the Eastern harbor was secured by a new majestic fortress, constructed on the ruins of the famous ancient lighthouse.

After the conquest of Mamluk Egypt by the Ottomans in 1516, Alexandria was located within the territory dominated by the Sublime Porte and therefore less exposed to seaborne attacks. The citizens started to settle outside the city walls between the two harbors and abandoned the old town intra muros. Nevertheless, the Ottoman governors preserved the urban fortifications and added new forts in the harbor zone.

Our Speaker:

Dr. Kathrin Machinek, research engineer at the French CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), is working as a building historian at the Centre d’Études Alexandrines, USR 3134, in Alexandria/ Egypt, under the direction of Dr. Marie-Dominique Nenna. [https://www.cealex.org/le-cealex/annuaire/km/]

She obtained a Phd in architecture at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany: « The Qaitbay fort in Alexandria – History and Architecture of a Mamluk fortress in the urban defense system of Alexandria » [https://publikationen.bibliothek.kit.edu/1000047346]

 Research themes:

  • Military history and fortifications of Alexandria
  • Islamic fortifications from the Middle Ages to modern time
  • Medieval and Ottoman Alexandria
  • Mamluk architecture
  • Archaeological excavations at fort Qaitbay and fort Tabiyet Nahassin in Alexandria
  • Features of Pharaonic architecture in Alexandria

Short Bibliography:

  1. Machinek 2020, « Deux citernes hypostyles dans le fort Qaitbay (Alexandrie) », in M.-D. Nenna (ed.), Alexandrina 5, ÉtAlex 50, Alexandria, 2020, p. 439-464 (to go to press).
  2. Machinek 2018, « Alexandria – Ottoman fortifications in a Mediterranean trading town », Symposium Fortifications of the Ottoman period in the Aegean, Ephorate of Lesbos, 30th October – 31st October 2018, p. 239-250 (to go to press).
  3. Machinek 2015, « Aperçu sur les fortifications médiévales d’Alexandrie. Histoire, architecture et archéologie », in M. Eychenne, A. Zouache (ed.), La guerre dans le Proche-Orient: État de la question, lieux communs, nouvelles approches, RAPH 37, Cairo, Damascus, 2015, p. 363-394.
  4. Machinek 2014, « Hygiene in islamischen Festungsbauten », in O. Wagener (ed.), Aborte im Mittelalter und der Frühen Neuzeit – Bauforschung, Archäologie, Kulturgeschichte, Studien zur internationalen Architektur- und Kunstgeschichte117, Petersberg, 2014, p. 292-301.
  5. Machinek 2014, Das Fort Qaitbay in Alexandria – Baugeschichte und Architektur einer mamlukischen Hafenfestung im mittelalterlichen Stadtbefestigungssystem von Alexandria, PhD thesis, submitted at the Department of Architecture, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in 2014.
  6. Machinek 2010, « Der Wandel der Stadtbefestigung Alexandrias vom Mittelalter bis in die Gegenwart », in O. Wagener (ed.), vmbringt mit starcken turnen, murn – Ortsbefestigungen im Mittelalter, Beihefte zur Mediaevistik15, Frankfurt a.M., 2010, p. 431-450.
  7. Machinek 2009, Le fort Qaitbay, Les petits guides d’Alexandrie, Alexandria, 2009, edition in English, French and Arabic.

Coastal Defences of Maharashtra, India

Attention! New appointment!

After cancelation of this lecture in April, we will repeat it on September 10!

Strongholds of the World Lecture Series, Part 2

with Archana Deshmukh, Pune

Interdisciplinary lecture series of the Marburger Arbeitskreises für europäische Burgenforschung e.V., Germany, and Aarhus University, research programme “Materials, Culture and Heritage”, Denmark

When: September 10, 2021

Entry: 1:30 PM Copenhagen. Begin: 02:00 PM Copenhagen

Register in advance for this webinar:

https://aarhusuniversity.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_I42w6nXTQKSfMxUANLvUIg

Or an H.323/SIP room system:

 H.323: 109.105.112.236 or 109.105.112.235

 Meeting ID: 648 0719 3180

 SIP: 64807193180@109.105.112.236 or 64807193180@109.105.112.235

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

 

Coastal Defences of Maharashtra, India

This session from our lecture series “Strongholds of the World” will shed light upon the various typologies of defense systems along the western coast of Maharashtra, India, popularly known as Konkan. The components of defense systems comprises of island forts, coastal forts, fortified factories, fortified outposts, archeological remains, historic settlements, historic monuments and other cultural resources which form many complex military coastal cultural landscapes.

The Konkan is a narrow strip of land between the Arabian Sea and the Sahyadri Range famously known as Western Ghats, is not a continuous strip. The spurs of the Sahyadries gradually lose height as they approach the coast, and far in the sea they create islands. A distinctive feature of the coastline and to site varied typology of the built and natural heritage, and its historical, cultural, military, ecological significance within this region is the consequence of human interventions in the past, and testimony to the various cultures, the contribution of defense systems, which evolved and enriched this land. Due to its rich Maritime Tradition, trade and commerce flourished from ancient times.

The maritime forts which were built to guard commercial and territorial interests narrate stories about trade routes, piracy and battles and above all the aspirations of mankind to travel to new territories to better their lives. The forts, therefore, must be seen as the symbols of such aspirations and more specifically as important defense systems and military warfare in terms to understand the growth of this area in terms of cultural resources which includes various typologies of forts, its defense mechanism to protect the boundaries and to mark the territories

Our Speaker:

Archana Deshmuk is a practicing principal conservation architect of “Nasadeeya” Architecture and conservation firm based in Pune, Maharashtra. She has pursued Architecture degree from Maharashtra and Masters from New Delhi in Architectural Conservation. She has been in the field for more than twelve years and has worked in Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat on various projects related to forts and fortified heritage. She stood a merit student in her masters thesis about Maritime coastal cultural landscape of coastal Maharashtra in 2011. In February 2017 she organized a tour for Fortress group to study forts and fortifications of coastal and western Maharashtra with support of NscFORT, also organized a seminar in collaboration with MTDC, ASI and State Archeology along with various NGO’s working on Forts in Pune, Maharashtra.