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Muhammad Ali Mosque: the alabaster mosque

art & culture

It is the most beautiful of Cairo, while evoking the magnificent Blue Mosque of Istanbul, whose beauty it rivals.

It was built between 1830 and 1848 in the southern part of the citadel of Saladin and is inspired by the architecture of the most famous mosque of Istanbul. The viceroy of Egypt was competing at the time with the Ottoman Empire and set it up as a rival. The Turks considered it an act of arrogance. What similarities are there between these two places of worship. Both have an arcaded courtyard and are topped by a cascade of domes and semi-domes.

Visiting inside, its ceiling, decorated with paintings and gilding,are admirable, while its walls, decorated with alabaster panels more than 11 metres high, are responsible for its nickname, the ‘alabaster mosque'. It also contains a monumental copper clock offered by King Louis-Philippe to thank the Egyptian government for having sold them the Luxor obelisk, installed on the Place de la Concorde in Paris. Damaged during the trip, this clock has never worked.

Muhammad Ali Mosque
Cairo Governorate
Cairo

 See the Travel Guide to Cairo