Shali Fortress; The History and Magic Behind Siwa’s Ancient City

Located on the borders between Egypt and Libya, Siwa is one of the most serene and magical destinations in Egypt. In the heart of the oasis lies the iconic Shali Fortress. Built between the 12th and 13th century, Shali Fortress is a structure made of a mixture called Kershef, which is the original local building material used in Siwan architecture. Kershef is a mixture of salt, mud, and other minerals from the Siwan salt lake.

Shali was originally built as a place to protect the Siwi people against potential attacks from other Bedouin tribes. When it was built, it was 60 meters high, but heavy rain flooded the area in 1926 and parts of it eroded. Despite being quite abandoned as the inhabitants were forced to move out, it’s often a source of curiosity and exploration for tourists who visit the area due to its charm and uniqueness.

Recently, the unique archeological site witnessed a rebirth as a result of the Revival of the Shali Fortress and Village in the Siwa Oasis Initiative, which initially began in 2018. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more projects like this one over the coming years!

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