THE principal entrance to the citadel is from the great square, Er-Rumeyleh, in which is situated the noblest sacred structure in Cairo, the mosque of the Sultan Hassan. This square, in which a market is held, is the great place of resort of the idlers of Cairo, and crowds are always to be found there grouped round taletellers, mountebanks, musicians, jugglers, and other attractions to a crowd. Here the great gate of the citadel, with its massive round towers, leeds to a steep and narrow road within- so steep, that in many places it has been necessary to cut steps in the rock to facilitate the ascent and descent of horses and camels; visitors usually go on asses, and ladies in sedans. This road leads to the plain of the citadel, which lies on the south-eastern extremity of Cairo. It has an elevation of about hundred and fifty feet above the city, that lies stretched out immediately below it in the plain, and affords one of the most striking views in the East.

This citadel was founded by the Sultan Saláh-ed-Deen- the great Saladin of our crusades- in the year of the Hegira 572 (A.D. 1176); but it was not finished till thirty-two years afterwards. Since that time it has been the residence of the Sultans, Pasha's, and other Governors of Egypt.

The principal gate, leading from the Rumeyleh, is called the Báb-el-Azab, and the narrow and steep road within was the site of the massacre of the Memlooks by Mehemet Ali on the 1st of March, 1811; an act of base treachery is our estimation, but of consummate, deep, and successful daring in Eastern politics. It was an act of self-defense, for they had plotted, and were still plotting, to destroy him; and if the act is to be estimated by the amount of good that followed the evil, few revolutions have so essentially served the cause of humanity as the destruction of a set of wretches who were recruited in infamy, and whose abominable lives and characters had fortunately no parallel in the history of a government. Simply as a power which controlled or destroyed every chance of a good administration, they were not worse than the Janissaries, happily also destroyed, and consigned with Memlooks and Prætorian bands to the infamy they so well deserved in history.

The bold and decisive step, and its successful execution, led to a change in the policy as well as government of Egypt; and the extraordinary man who effected this lived to be esteemed one of the regenerators of his race, whose prejudices stood not in the way of important improvements in establishment of civil intercourse with other creeds and people; and though those he governed suffered from his despotism, his policy has opened the means of introducing a more liberal system, which cannot fail, from the increased intercourse of Egypt with civilised Europe, in rendering the condition of the Egyptians within a short period far better than could have been hoped for from any pre-existent government in the Valley of the Nile.

As connected with the event of the destruction of the Memlooks, there is a spot still marked below the high walls of the citadel, on the side of the tower, were Amyn Bey forced his horse over a place at that time delapidated in the wall, forty feet above the ground on the outside. Fortunately the débris of the wall had formed a talus on the outside, which broke his fall. The noble animal was killed, but the Bey escaped; the only one of four hundred and seventy, who had been decoyed to their destruction by the Pasha. Every author on Egypt has written their tale, and the memorable spot is still pointed out to every traveller.

This view is one of the most striking spots in Cairo, whether as connected with its history, the public manners and habits of the people, or the picturesque beauty of the objects it contains in the noblest of its religious structures and the architectural character of the Báb-el-Azab.