Egypt Islamic Buildings and Mosques


Islamic Monuments
The artistic beauty of Islamic monuments is not only manifested in mosques , but it extends to houses , palaces , fortresses and other architectural structures .

Cairo Mosques
Founded by Amr Ibn El – Aas in 642 ( 21 Hijira ) , North of the site of the Roman fortress of Babylon in Old Cairo. It is considered the oldest mosque in Egypt.
Simple in design , its present plan consists of an open sahn (court) surrounded by four riwaqs (colonnade), the largest being the Qiblah riwaq with marble pillars. Some of the wooden beams still bear Byzantine decorations in the form of vine leaf cluster motifs .

Mosque of Amr Ibn El - Aas, Cairo
Situated in Sayyedah Zeinab area, it was built by Prince Ahmad Ibn Tulun in 879 (265 Hijira)It is the largest mosque in Egypt which still retains its original architectural structure . It is of simple design consisting of an open sahn (court) with an ablution fountain in the center , surrounded by four riwaqs , the largest being the Qiblah riwaq (colonnade). The high – walled additions are found on the South , West and North sides.
The mosque's walls are decorated with 128 latticed windows made of gypsum . The mihrab is made of marble and gilted mosaic and bordered by four columns with leaf – like crowns. The pulpit is made of wood and dates back to the Mamluk period.
Mosque of Ahmed Ibn Tulun, Cairo

This mosque is located in the middle of an area teaming with the most beautiful Islamic monuments from the 10th Century AD and later. It was named “ Al – Azhar ” after Fatma Al  Zahraa, the daughter of Prophet Mohamed .

The Mosque and Madrasah ( School ) of Sultan Hassan, Cairo
Built in 1356 ( 757H) , this mosque lies at the junction of Al – Qala ( the Citadel )street and Salah El – Din Square . It was built by Sultan Hassan Ibn Qalawon as a mosque and madrasah ( school ) to teach the four sects of Islam. It is composed of an open court , surrounded by four iwans ( sections ) for the four school..

Mohamed Aly Mosque at the Citadel, Cairo
Built in 1830 ( 1246 Hijira )in the citadel of Salah Al – Din Al – Ayyubi along Ottoman lines of byzantine origins , the mosque comprises a square – shaped riwaq ( gallery )for prayers , covered by a dome over the mihrab .On the wall stands the clock tower , a gift from Louis Philippe , king of France

Mosque and Dome of Imam El – Shafei, Cairo
King El-Muzaffar El-Ayyubi built the present dome which is considered one of the most beautiful domes in Cairo .

Mosque of El – Rifa’i, Cairo
The Mosque was built in 1911 ( 1329 Hijira ) over looking Salah El-Din Square near the Citadel , South of the mosque of Sultan Hassan


 Islamic Building
The Citadel of Salah El – Din, Cairo
The Citadel was built in 1183 ( 579 Hijira ) along the lines of a medieval fortress . It has a deep well , 90 meters deep , known as Bir Youssef ( Joseph 's well ) , provide with water in times of siege .

Beit El–Seheimi - Cairo
Located in El-Azhar district , it is an excellent example of the old caravansarays mansions , where merchants with their goods and beasts were accommodated . Lately , this historic mansion was turned into a cultural center , comprising a handicraft training school .

Khan El-Khalili Bazaar, Cairo
Khan El Khalili is the most famous tourist bazaar in Egypt .
Bordered on the East by the mosque of El-Hussein and on the South by El-Mousky street , this bazaar ( market ) was built by the Circassian Prince , El-Khalili in the 14th centur. AD , and it was renovated by Sultan El-Ghouri in 1511 AD .

The Manial Palace Museum, Cairo
Located in El-Manial , overlooking the Nile , it was the private residence of Prince Mohammed Ali Tawfik. Its architecture is a mixture of Persian , Moroccan and Turkish styles . In a corner of its spacious garden is the Manial Palace Hotel .

Souq El Foustat
The primary purpose of the Souq El Fustat is to create a sympathetic space for artists, craftsmen and designers to develop their working studios and commercial distribution. The location is ideally situated for tourism, being near the most prominent Christian sites in Cairo. The workshops are chosen very carefully to avoid another Khan El-Khalili, and these include metalwork, ceramics, candle making, glassblowing, leatherwork, etc. The criterion of the first phase is an investment for the future. Quality is emphasized in the high standards of workmanship. We are especially looking for those crafts, which are on the verge of extinction. Many of the artisans and designers are developing their work from artifacts of the museums, thus revitalizing already extinct crafts. In this way, we also hope to encourage aspiring artists.

Souq El Fustat also operates as a school using an innovative residential teaching approach. Local artisans receive subsidized rents in exchange for giving two classes a week each, a roughly six-to-ten- hour commitment. At present, there is one art-class, one weaving-class and one metal and woodwork-class. A pilot art-class was successfully completed in May 2001 and involved 40 students. Within the framework of the teaching program, excursions for the children and their parents have been organized.

The artists and artisans of Souq El Fustat have also undertaken the responsibility of apprenticeships and in this way both the cultural heritage is secured as well as it is giving employment to the local community.

The district Fustat has been known for its excellent pottery for centuries. Unfortunately, the villagers have been forced to move many times because of the city expansion, which has had a devastating effect on both the pottery production as well as the social life. Finally the Governorate decided to donate the land to the craftsmen themselves, and the Ministry of Tourism contributed EP 3,750,000 for the construction of the work-shops. The pottery production village now occupies a substantial 12 600 m2 area and will house 32 workshops. Environmentally clean ovens will be installed to improve the working conditions for the craftsmen. The ambitious core of the economic rejuvenation program will employ about 2,000 people directly or indirectly once it becomes fully operational. The majority of the pottery production will be geared towards export. The completion of the pottery village is being financed by the Italian Embassy through the Debt-Swap program, and also includes a small museum, a pottery school and a Center for the Revitalization of Traditional Arts and Crafts. We are convinced that the pottery village will attract more tourists to the area. The pottery village will thus not only affect the pottery craftsmen, but the whole society of Old Cairo in a positive way.


 Islamic Monuments in Egypt
Alexandria Mosque of Abul Abbas El-Mursi
It was named after Abul Abbas El-Mursi, a disciple of the great Sufist Abul Hassan El-Shazli .

The Fort of Qait Bay
Built by the Mamluk ruler Ashraf Qait Bay , in 1479 AD on the ruins of Pharos the ancient lighthouse of Alexandria .

The Fortress of Salah El – Din on Pharaoh's Island
This fortress was built by Sultan Salah Al – Din Al – Ayyoubi towards the end of the 12th century AD ; it lies about 60 kilometers North of the town of Nuweiba’ and 8 kilometers South of Taba , on Pharaoh's Island to protect the Gulf of Aqaba from foreign invaders and to safeguard the pilgrims and trade route . The fort stands on two promontories , surrounded by turreted walls , and comprises troop quarters , a bathhouse and a mosque . There are also towers to house the carrier pigeons which were used for relaying messages in the Middle Ages

The Agha Khan Mausoleum, Aswan
Agha Khan was the late leader of an Islamic Sect. The tomb is considered a masterpiece of Arab Fatimid architecture , on the West Bank of the Nile opposite the Cataract Hotel , It houses the coffin of Agha Khan and is made of white marble .




 Related links  
Egypt Museums
Christian Egypt
Islamic Egypt
Modern Egypt
Natural Parks in Egypt