Al-Askar (Arabic: العسكر) was the capital of Egypt from 750–868, when Egypt was a province of the Abbasid Caliphate.

History of Al-Askar


After the Muslim conquest of Egypt in 641, Fustat was established, just north of Coptic Cairo and the regional capital of Egypt was moved from Alexandria to the new city on the eastern side of the Nile.

Abbasid regional capital (750-868)

The Rashiduns were followed by the Umayyads, who ruled until they were overthrown by the Abbasids in 750, when the Umayyad regional capital of Fustat was replaced with an Abbasid city slightly north of it, al-‘Askar. Its full name was Arabic: مدينة العسكريromanized: Madinatu l-‘Askarilit. ‘City of Cantonments or City of Sections’.Intended primarily as a city large enough to house an army, it was laid out in a grid pattern that could be easily subdivided into separate sections for various groups, such as merchants and officers.

The peak of the Abbasid dynasty occurred during the reign of Harun al Rashid (r. 786-809), along with increased taxes on the Egyptians, who rose up in a peasant revolt in 832 during the time of Caliph al-Ma’mun (r. 813-833).

Local Egyptian governors gained increasing autonomy, and in 870, governor Ahmad ibn Tulun declared Egypt’s independence (though still nominally under the rule of the Abbasid Caliph). As a symbol of this independence, in 868 ibn Tulun founded yet another capital, al-Qatta’i, slightly further north of al-‘Askar.

After 868

Al-‘Askar, Fusṭāṭ, and, after the 1168 fire that destroyed old Fustat, nearby al-Qāhirah (Cairo) became capitals of Egypt, the latter keeping this position to this day. Cairo’s boundaries grew to eventually encompass the three earlier capitals of al-Fusṭāṭ, al-Qatta’i and al-‘Askar, the remnants of which can today be seen in “Old Cairo” in the southern part of the city.


Description of Al-Askar

Al-Askar is a historic neighborhood in the heart of Fustat, Egypt. People knew the neighborhood for its beautiful architecture, charming streets, and rich cultural heritage.

Al-Askar is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. It’s a great place to explore the history and culture of Fustat. The neighborhood is home to several historic landmarks, including the Fustat Mosque. In fact, It is one of the oldest mosques in Egypt. The mosque is a beautiful example of Islamic architecture . A great place to learn about the religious and cultural history of Fustat.

Al-Askar is also home to several historic buildings and houses that date back to the medieval period. These buildings are a great example of the traditional architecture of Fustat. They provide a glimpse into the daily life of the people who lived in the area during that time.

In addition to its historical significance, Al-Askar also known for its vibrant street life and bustling markets. The neighborhood is home to several souks, or markets. People knew them for their colorful textiles, intricate jewelry, and delicious street food.