Around the World Pic: A Beautiful Mosque in Cairo, Egypt


As I’ve said before my week in Egypt was spectacular. One of the most marvelous components of the trip was the architecture – and not just that of the ancient Egyptians, but the Muslim architecture as well. There were so many enormous and beautiful mosques with their minarets rising to the skies that it was really just a sight to see. This is one of numerous shots we took of mosques, big and small, all over the place. I find this one particularly interesting because of where we were walking, through this alley almost beside a huge amount of more hovel like buildings, only to have this enormous mosque rise out of the earth beside us and tower into the sky.

Have you been to Egypt? What did you find most incredible?

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4 Responses

  1. I think there are a couple of pictures of this masjid in my Islamic Arts & Architecture book.

  2. I wish I could recall the name, but I was with a friend who was in charge of the whole camera thing and when the trip was over it wasn’t that easy to look at 400 pictures and be life, Oh yeah, that’s this mosque. If you recall the name I’d love to know.

  3. It’s difficult to say; there are two different photographs in the book (one of a dome, the other of a door/outdoor mihrab) that resemble your photo above. The problem is that there are similarities and differences, which makes it difficult to pinpoint whether it’s either (or none). In the book, the dome is from Sultan Qa’itbay’s funerary complex (1474); for the door/mihrab, it’s from Masjid Sultan Barquq (1386). Of the two photos, the dome resembles your picture more. That the dome in the book’s photo is from a funerary complex is no big deal; buildings of that era combined different functions. For example, the book states that Masjid Sultan Barquq was a combination madrasa (school), mosque, mausoleum, and khanqah (Sufi “convent”). Regardless of what building it is, it’s definitely from the Mamluk era, especially with that dome and the alternating horizontal color scheme for the rock.

    The book, BTW, is “Islamic Art and Architecture” by Robert Hillenbrand, published as part of Thames & Hudson’s World of Art series. ISBN 0-500-20305-9. Originally published 1999; mine is the 2002 reprint. I happened to buy it the last time I was up in KL; there’s an excellent Islamic arts museum up there (Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia), and one of the local bookstores had a section devoted to books sold through the IAMM.

  4. Funny because in reading your descriptions of either candidate I thought, Oh that sounds right! because in Cairo there are so many wonderful mosques, each with great history. You see so many and hear so many things like that in a whirlwind visit and it becomes so hard (for me) to say what’s what. Wish I’d been more diligent about coming up with a way to remember at the time.

    Sounds like a beautiful book.

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