Mosque of Ibn Tulun

The Mosque of Ibn Tulun: A Timeless Monument in Cairo

The Mosque of Ibn Tulun, standing as the oldest mosque in Cairo still intact and in continuous use, is a marvel of Islamic architecture. Its distinct and well-ordered indentations etched along the high walls make it an easily recognizable landmark in the city’s historic landscape. Built in the 9th century, the mosque was commissioned by Ibn Tulun, an Abbasid Caliph‘s representative from Baghdad, tasked with governing the Al-Fustat garrison.

Despite the constraints of a modest budget and a subsequent reconstruction, the Mosque of Ibn Tulun remains a jewel among Cairo’s religious sites. Its architectural design bears the hallmark of Ibn Tulun’s native Iraqi style, most notably influenced by the Mosque of Samarra. The mosque’s spiral minaret, a striking feature, is modeled after its Samarra counterpart. Innovatively, the mosque’s design includes pointed arches, a precursor to Europe’s Gothic arch by approximately two centuries.

Built on a grand scale to accommodate the entire community for Jum’ah (Friday) prayers, the mosque covers an expanse of over 6 acres. For the intrepid visitor, a climb to the top of the spiral minaret offers a breathtaking view of the Citadel. The mosque also features a tower situated outside a moat-like courtyard, symbolically separating the sacred space from the secular life of the city.

For those interested in delving deeper into the history and legacy of Ahmed Ibn Tulun, the visionary behind this architectural masterpiece, further information is readily available. The Mosque of Ibn Tulun is not just a place of worship but a testament to the rich tapestry of Cairo’s historical and cultural heritage.

Created On May 4, 2020

Updated On January 26, 2024

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