Christian Levantines were employed in its construction and it was decorated in part with Venetian mirrors, &c. In the same enclosure is a small castle attributed to Yesu I.
The majority of these were Greeks, Italians, Syrians, Armenians and other Levantines, though almost every European and Oriental nation is represented.
The labouring population is mainly Egyptian; the Greeks and Levantines are usually shopkeepers or petty traders.
The "natives" - Arabs, Berbers, "Moors," Turks and negroes - were estimated at 100,000, Tunisian Jews at 50,000, French 18,000, Italians 52,000, Maltese 6000, Greeks 500 and Levantines moo.
The census showed that in addition to French settlers and their descendants (278,976) there were 117,475 Spaniards (most of whom are found in the department of Oran), 33,153 Italians (chiefly in the department of Constantine), 64,645 Jews, 6217 Maltese, and smaller communities of British, Germans, Levantines and Greeks.
The population was of a very heterogeneous character, but mainly of an undesirable class of Levantines; this with the damp heat and the dirt and noise of the incessant coaling operations gave the town an unenviable reputation.
Besides the Cairenes proper, who are largely engaged in trade or handicrafts, the inhabitants include Arabs, numbers of Nubians and Negroes - mostly labourers or domestics in nominal slavery - and many Levantines, there being considerable colonies of Syrians and Armenians.
Syrians and Levantines are numerous, and there is a colony of Persians.
Levantines, Maltese, Greeks and Jews form the trading community, but since 1895, when a branch of the Agenzia Italiana Commerciale was established at Bengazi, Italians have exercised an increasing influence on Cyrenaic commerce.