Egypt mosques information, list, tours and online booking
Egypt mosques include a huge number of mosques all over Egypt, stretched from Abu Simbel to Marsa Matrouh. Al-Mursi Abu Al-Abbas is Alexandria’s largest mosque; with a cream colored façade, four great domes, arabesque designs and a high minaret, the mosque is a beautiful sight. The mosque was built in 1775 to commemorate the life of an Andalusian Sheikh that was buried on the site. It is one of the most visited mosques on the Mediterranean Sea coast. “For verily a lover is deaf to those who advise him”, so goes one of the early lines of Qasidat Al-Burda (Poem of the Cloak) written by the poet Imam Busiri, who died in 1296 AD. The poem became so famous that it is still recited today by believers from Yemen to Morocco.
The Mosque & Tomb of Imam Busiri in the Anfushi district of Alexandria have recently been restored and play an important part in the life of the city, attracting visitors from around the world. The mosques features beautiful mural calligraphy which includes 94 verses of Qasidat Al-Burda inscribed in Ta’liq script as well as Quranic verses. Is Alexander the Great buried in the Nabi Daniel Mosque in Alexandria?. To explore this still unsolved mystery, ride a bus to Masr station and walk south on Nabi Daniel Street, close to the intersection of the ancient Via Canopica and R5 Street until you reach Nabi Daniel Mosque. There are two different accounts of the mosque’s namesake. In the first, the mosque is named after the Biblical prophet Daniel whose life story is based in large part on the accounts of the Old Testament but incorporates many aspects of Alexander the Great.
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The Macedonian king founded the city of Alexandria and was buried in a golden sarcophagus at the site of the mosque. Alternatively, the mosque may have been named after a Kurd, Sheikh Mohammad Daniel who came to Alexandria from Mosul in the 15th century. The present Mosque of Nabi Daniel was built at the end of the 18th century on the site of a 4th century roman temple and restored in 1823 by Mohamed Ali. A rather small mosque, Al Aqmar Mosque makes up for its size with its architectural and historical significance. Located near Al-Qalawun Complex, Al-Aqmar is one of the only remaining Fatimid mosques in Cairo. This was the first mosque in Cairo to have a decorated façade, and also the first to have its plan made to accommodate the street plan.
Take in the intricate and delicate carvings and patterns on the walls, façade, and minaret of this truly beautiful mosque built in 1125. Located at the heart of Islamic Cairo, Al-Azhar complex & mosque and university, does not only house the oldest university in the world but it is also the place where the graduation black gowns originated from. The costume worn by students all around the world during their graduation seems to have been inspired by the flowing robes of the Islamic Scholars “graduating” from Al-Azhar. The University is now distributed between different buildings, but the mosque, founded by Jawhar al-Siqilly, the Fatimid conqueror of Egypt, in 970 is still a true marvel and a not-to-be-missed attraction while visiting Cairo.
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Located near Bab Al-Futuh , at the beginning of Al-Mo’ez Street, you’ll find one of the largest Fatimid mosques in Cairo, the Al-Hakim Mosque. A famously eccentric caliph, Al-Hakim Bi-Amr Allah, ordered its construction in 990 AD. Towards the end of his reign, he disappeared without a trace at the age of 36. The mosque has since then been used as a warehouse and an elementary school before being reconverted into a mosque in 1980. Located near the famous Khan El-Khalili Bazaars in Cairo and – as it was discovered during works on the mosque’s foundations in the 1900’s – on the remains of the Fatimid Caliphs cemetery in Cairo, Al-Hussein Mosque is considered as one of the holiest mosques in Egypt. It is usually the sanctuary where the Egyptian president and other dignitaries pray on special occasions.
Located near Bab Zuweila in Cairo, there Al-Mu’ayyad Mosque which has an interesting story. The founder, a Mamluk sultan, was imprisoned and suffered greatly in this particular place; he vowed that if he ever came to power he would transform the prison into a school and mosque where intellectuals would come to study. After regaining his freedom, he did just that, turning the prison into one of the most beautiful and expensive mosques and madrasas to be built in Cairo. Marble in all its colours was brought from different locations and used to adorn the walls, ceiling, and floors in designs that will make you gape at their beauty. Al-Rifai Mosque is one of Cairo’s largest mosques. It took 43 years to build this beautiful sanctuary that combines different Islamic architectural styles.
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Located in “Midan Al-Qalaa” or the Citadel Square, it faces the Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan which it rivals in size and grandeur. This Mosque is the resting place of many members of the Egyptian Royal Family, including the last king, King Farouk. The last Shah of Iran has also been buried in this mosque in 1980. Built in 642 AD with palm trunks and fronds, it was the first mosque erected in Egypt and all Africa. The location of the mosque was determined by the general of the Muslim Army Amr Ibn Al-‘As who had pitched his tent at that very same place when he conquered the land. The capital of Islamic Egypt Al-Fustat was then built around this spot. There are approximately 200 columns in the mosque taken from different sites, and the wide and quiet spaces offer a sanctuary from the bustle of Cairo.
Amr Ibn Al-As Mosque is a part of what is commonly known today as the “Multi-Religious Compound” in Cairo, an area that is home to very old places of worship pertaining to the three monotheistic religions: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Looking more like a fortress with its imposing wall full of beautiful crenulations, the Mosque of Ibn Tulun is believed to be the oldest mosque in Cairo, and the city’s largest mosque in terms of land area, which covers no less than 26.300 sq. m. Standing among beautifully decorated arches in the vast courtyard, the mosque was built by Ibn Tulun in the 9th century and served as the center of the Tulun Dynasty capital. Visiting Cairo, you will easily locate Mohammad Ali Mosque, due to its prominent features: its dome rises up to 52 meters high and two east side minarets reach not less than 84 meters.
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While wandering around the mosque, you will soon discover why it also holds the name of the “Alabaster Mosque.” Its interior and exterior walls are amazingly coated with alabaster to the height of 11 meters. The Mohammed Ali Mosque crowns the Citadel of Salah el-Din in Cairo. It was built between 1830 and 1848 by the architect Yousef Bushnak and upon Mohamed Ali Pasha’s request. The Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan is regarded as the finest piece of early-Mamluk architecture era in Cairo, an age of architectural splendor. Story has it that the construction of this complex was a tedious and tragic process. In fact, it was built between 1356 and 1363 by the Sultan Hassan who was murdered shortly before the mosque was completed.
Sultan Hassan’s Madrassa & Mosque was built out of huge blocks of stone. Due to its tremendous height, this mosque soon became a symbol of the culmination of all the architectural power developed throughout a century of Mamluk rule. When arriving to the mosque, your eyes will be immediately drawn upward into the blue sky. And as you lower your head, you will witness the most amazingly patterned mosaic-paved courtyard, unprecedented in Cairo. Only a glimpse of the splendor you’ll gaze at inside.