"Muhammad Ali Mosque" Top 5 Page for this destination Citadel Tip by MM212
Citadel, Cairo: 132 reviews and 301 photos
Completed in 1848 by Muhammad Ali, the founder of modern Egypt, his namesake mosque magnificently dominates the Cairo skyline from the Citadel, with multiple silver domes and two 82-metre pencil-style minarets. Egypt's ruler commissioned a Greek-Ottoman architect, Youssef Bushnaq, to design this mosque in an undeniable Ottoman imperial style, probably as a challenge the Empire's capital, Constantinople, in much the same way he was challenging the Sultan's authority. Although Cairo had been under Ottoman rule for centuries, its mosque architecture had remained mostly faithful to the style attributed to the previous dynasty, the Mamlukes, who had held nominal power under the Ottomans until the arrival of Muhammad Ali. The new ruler ruthlessly executed any remaining Mamluke descendants in order to ensure the permanent extinction of their dynasty. Thus with the construction of his mosque, in a purely Ottoman style, he not only had challenged the Empire's authority, but also signalled the end of the Mamluke period. It is probably not a coincidence that the structure was erected on the site of the ancient Mamluke royal palaces. The mosque is sometimes referred to as the Alabaster Mosque, recalling the alabaster used in its construction, which is not considered the highest quality building material (it was chosen by the ruler to boost the local alabaster industry). In fact, in the 1930's, the domes of the mosque were completely reconstructed because of cracks in the original structure. In the early 2000s, the mosque underwent an extensive restoration and cleaning project that rendered it as glorious as ever.
Address: Cairo Citadel
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