Mosque of Ibn Tulun
Introduction About Mosque of Ibn Tulun
The mosque of Ibn Tulun is considered the oldest mosque in the city that is still in one piece and inconsistent use. It is easily recognizable by the beautiful and well-ordered indentations on the mosque’s high walls. Ibn Tulun was a representative of the Abbasid Caliph of Baghdad, charged with the responsibility of ruling the Al-Fustat garrison in the 9th century.
In spite of the fact that it was shoddily re-constructed on a tight budget, the mosque is still one of the finest mosques in Cairo. The architecture of the mosque shows the influence of Iraqi design (Ibn Tulu’s native country) most especially from the mosque in Samarra after whose minaret, Ibn Tulun’s spiral minaret is modelled. There are also a few inventions in the mosque’s design such as the pointed arch designed which preceded the Gothic arch of Europe by about 200 years.
The mosque was built to accommodate the whole community during jum’ah prayers and so it was built expansively, covering an area that is slightly more than 6 acres. For those adventurous enough to take the climb, the top of the minaret affords a splendid look over the Citadel. There’s also a tower located outside a moatlike courtyard that was built to seclude the mosque from the secular life in the city.