Mosque of Mohammed Ali

The Mosque of Mohammed Ali: A Jewel of Turkish Influence in Cairo

The Mosque of Mohammed Ali, a breathtaking edifice inspired by classical Turkish architecture, was constructed over an 18-year period from 1830 to 1848. Its captivating beauty is characterized by the ornate chandeliers and the harmonious play of striped stones that adorn its interior. The mosque’s main dome, a striking feature, is resplendent in emerald green, adding to the overall allure of the structure.

Olivia Manning, in her work “The Levant Trilogy,” poetically captures the essence of the mosque: ‘Above them, Mohammed Ali’s alabaster mosque, uniquely white in this sand-colored city, sat with minarets pricked, like a fat, white, watchful cat’. This evocative description paints a vivid image of the mosque as an iconic and vigilant presence in Cairo’s landscape.

Despite its celebrated beauty, the mosque has not been immune to criticism. Some writers have even gone so far as to label it as unattractive, showcasing the diverse perspectives it elicits. Within the mosque, near the entrance, lies the ornately marble-decorated tomb of Mohammed Ali himself, lending a solemn and reverent air to the space.

A notable feature within the mosque’s central courtyard is a gleaming clock, a gift from King Louis-Philippe of France. This clock was a token of gratitude for the Pharaonic obelisk that now adorns the Place de la Concorde in Paris. However, marred by damage during its delivery, the clock has remained inoperative to this day.

The Mosque of Mohammed Ali, with its blend of architectural magnificence and historical intrigue, stands as a testament to Egypt’s rich cultural tapestry, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in its storied past.

Created On May 4, 2020

Updated On January 26, 2024

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