Alabaster Mosque Facts
The great Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha or Alabaster Mosque stands proudly on the highest point inside the courtyard of the Citadel of Saladin. The Mosque of Muhammad Ali is the most popular Islamic mosque among tourists .It is one of the first features to be seen when approaching the city from no matter which side.
The mosque, the largest such structure built during the first half of the 19th century, is more impressive at a distance than close up .It is an unparalleled contribution to the skyline of Cairo, visible high atop the Citadel grounds.
The mosque is the Tomb of Mohammad Ali and is also known as the Alabaster Mosque because of the extensive use of this fine material from Beni Suef. Its two slender 270 foot minarets are unusual for Cairo.
From the arcaded courtyard, visitors have a magnificent view across the city to the pyramids in Giza. Just off the courtyard is the vast prayer hall with an Ottoman style dome which is 170 feet above.
The parapet to the southwest offers a good view of the Sultan Hassan and Ibn Tulun Mosques and of Cairo itself. Perhaps because of its location, it is one of the most frequented Mosques by tourists.
Ottoman law prohibited anyone but the sultan from building a mosque with more than one minaret, but this mosque has two minarets. This was one of Muhammad 'Ali's first indications that he did not intend to remain submissive to Istanbul. The mosque is classically Turkish in style, reflecting its Ottoman origins.
The cascading domes, slender minarets, constellation of hanging globe lamps, richly decorated ceiling and spacious interior all recall the great mosques of Istanbul.
The interior also reflects some French rococo influences, and is finished with ornate lines of red, green, and gold. There is a gold-scalloped mihrab and two minbars (pulpits): one faced in alabaster and the other, unusually, in the Art Nouveau style. Muhammad Ali is buried beneath a white marble monument on the right of the entrance behind a bronze grill.
In the courtyard is an ornate clock given by Louis Philippe in exchange for the obelisk that stands in the Place de la Concorde in Paris. It has never worked.
Visit Alabaster Mosque
Egypt Travel Gate 2017 © Rights Reserved