Shali Fortress, Siwa

#2 of 7 in Historic Sites in Matrouh Governorate
See the enigmatic ruins of Shali Fortress, which once towered above the oasis. Dating back to the 13th century, the fortress was built from "kershef"--a mixture of salt, mud, and rocks. It wasn't meant to last more than a few decades, but it was destroyed by a heavy rainfall in 1926. Today, it is largely abandoned apart from some buildings near the edges, which are mostly used for storage. Walk through the labyrinth of impressive organic shapes, which once used to rise up to 60 m (197 ft) in height. Follow the path that spans the remnants of this ghost town, past the ancient mosque to the top, which offers scenic views. Make Shali Fortress a centerpiece of your Siwa vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Siwa online trip planner .
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104 reviews
  • The ruins of an ancient fortress, pinned to the mountain. With absolutely a whole minaret. 5 tiers on a lonely standing hill. We're in a hurry to get up before the entrance is closed. Past the tents, almost empty. There are no tourists. We climb the narrow streets, in places of the steps, sometimes just a clay path. The walls are made of the same mixture of clay, salt and stones. Steps, furniture, mats, everything from palm trees. Here's the door. It is made of trunk, and the attachments are woven from dried leaves. The window, too. Pillars, crossbars, roof, drawers, chairs, ropes, carpets - all of palm trees. Not to mention the Dates, famous for the whole of Egypt. We go through the maze, on both sides the remains of 4-5 storey buildings....
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  • The remaining ruins of the Shali fortress are still fully worth the visit, especially if you can see the sunset from here. Everything here, including the fortress itself, was built with salt rocks which makes everything even more fascinating. Historic Site dating back to the 13TH century.
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