Muhammad Ali Mosque

Mohammad Ali Mosque 400
Mohammad Ali Mosque in Cairo, Egypt
Photo by: MiqsPix, Creative Commons

Built from 1830 to 1848 by the commission of Muhammad Ali Pasha, the Muhammad Ali Mosque is the largest Ottoman mosque to be built in the early 19th century. The mosque is in the Citadel of Cairo, Egypt. With its twin minarets, animated silhouette and recognizable design, it is the most visible mosque in Cairo.

When Mohammad Ali Pasha assumed power in the early 19th century, he had the mosque built in memory of Tusun Pasha, the eldest son of Mohammad Ali Pasha, who died in 1816. He also had all Mamluk buildings in the Citadel demolished and had the complex completely rebuilt.

Greek architect Jacob Bushnaq of Istanbul designed the Mohammad Ali Mosque. The Mohammad Ali Mosque was designed to fit the Turkish ideals, a reproduction of the best mosques found in Istanbul. Set on the foot of the Mugattam Hills, the mosque dominates the whole Citadel, and it is the most visible monument on the Cairo skyline.

The Mohammad Ali Mosque is eminently Turkish in style, echoing its Ottoman origins. The use of slim minarets, cascading domes, spacious interiors, large chandeliers, walls decorated with Thuluth inscriptions and beautiful hanging globe lamps are all reflecting the mosques found in Istanbul. On the inside, the rooms reflect some French Rococo as well as Art Nouveau influences, with heavily ornamentation of lines of green, red and gold. All in all, the mosque is as colorful as a Fabergé egg, and the exteriors are just exceptional. Interestingly, the mosque is made of some unusual choice of materials: alabaster and metal.

To get to the mosque, you can take the bus from Tahrir Square (nos. 82, 83 or 609) and from Ataba Square, nos. 50, 55 or 401. The mosque is open all days of the week from 8 AM to 5 PM.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *