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My Egypt Pictures:

Islamic Cairo -
the Old City

Page Still (always) Under Construction!

Since I split this page off from my main Egypt page on 09/09/98, you are visitor number:

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An Afternoon Visit to Islamic Cairo

The Mosque of Ibn Tulun, the first mosque built in Cairo. It was built in 870 AD and is a beautiful example of the symmetry and simplicity of early Islamic architecture. It is one of the most peaceful places in all of Cairo.


The original minaret of Ibn Tulun was destroyed in an earthquake and was rebuilt in 1296 AD by In-Nas Mohammad.


In the old part of the city, near the area known as "Hussein" and adjacent to the famous Khan al-Khalili bazaar, is Bayn al-Qasrayn, Street of the Pala The complex of Qala'un, with its madrassa (school), mausoleun and hospil, is on the right side of the street, and the out-jutting wall you see is the facade of the mausoleum. On the left side of the street is the minaret of Najm al-Din.



The portal to the mausoleum of Qala'un, built in 1279 AD. The stylized scallop shell above the portal is an abstract design in stucco. Below, a grill of windows in the radiating star pattern.

A view of the skyline of the old city, Islamic Cairo, seen from the minaret of Ibn Tulun. What I think (but don't quote me) that you are seeing is the Mosque and University of El Azhar with its minarets rising against the horizon in the background, and in the center, about halfway between Ibn Tulun and El Azhar would be the twin minarettes of Bab Zuwaila.



Built in 1586 AD, Bayt Suhaymi was the home of a wealthy Ottoman merchant just off Bayn al-Qasrayn, near Bab al-Futuh. This first picture is of the inside courtyard, looking from the women's quarters out across the courtyard to the hallway that leads to the outside entrance to the street and the balcony above.





These beautiful mashrabiyya screen windows have been wonderfully preserved. Made of small pieces of turned wood pieced together without glue or nails, these screens allowed breezes and air to flow freely throughout the house, and allowed those within to see outside without revealing themselves. This picture is taken from the balcony shown in the picture above, across the courtyard towards the hareem, or women's quarters. This is what a visitor would see looking up. It was from behind these screens that I took the picture above, actually looking through the mashrabiyya.





A closer view of the mashrabiyya windows of the hareem, looking up from the courtyard.

Well, that's all for now... be sure to check back, I'll have more after my next day off when I do more scanning... I have *LOTS* more where these came from!!!! (grin)


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The Arabic font on this page is Iqraa True Type Font, downloaded free from the Islamic Center of Blacksburg ...many thanks to them!




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This page was last updated on:  01/02/2004

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