Places To Go

LOCAL TIME IN Rosetta {Rasheed}

Currency in Rosetta {Rasheed}


Places To Go In Rosetta {Rasheed}

Ottoman Houses Built in the traditional Delta style using small, flat bricks painted alternately red and black, Rosetta’s Ottoman houses are generally three-story structures with the upper floor slightly overhanging the lower. Together with their jutting and ornate mashrabiyyas (intricately assembled wooden screens that serve for windows), the buildings are reminiscent of an upside-down chocolate wedding cake.

House of Mizouni 

The finest interior of any of the houses is the one of Mizouni (this is not a very well known, so ask officials in front of any other house for directions), dating back to 1740. It is twinned with the younger Galal House, but this is closed to visitors.

The house of Mizouni rises 5 stories above ground and is among the tallest of its kind. The three main stories are quite similar in design, all with a living room/reception room facing north, and smaller rooms around a small courtyard. There are many fine wooden details here, but nothing in color. Climbing all the way up to the top, you end in a terrace with walls so tall that nobody could look in or out.

House of Amasyali 

Clearly, the finest exterior in all of Rosetta belongs to Amasyali’s house. Colors here are stronger and details finer. The house is rather large and is among those with most space under the ceiling.

Unfortunately, it is closed for visitors at the moment, but should you be lucky to visit Rosetta after it reopens you will enjoy seeing the finest wooden ceilings and wall-decorations with extensive use of mother-of-pearl with the mashrabiyyas.

Mill of Abu Shahin 

Growing together with the House of Amasyali, the Mill of Abu Shahin is fortunately open for visitors. And it represents one of the most interesting sites in Rosetta. The mill has been beautifully restored, and it is fully functional. The guards will not bark at you should you try to move the wheels around.

The Quarter of Ramadan House 

The 6 houses around the Ramadan House are probably the first you will see when you come to Rosetta. Their exteriors are generally well restored and complete with tiny bays and windows with intricate decorations. Each has its own variations from the common style.

The Ramadan House on the corner can be entered, but its exterior is generally in a very early stage of restoration, and it will take a few years more (from November 2004) before it is ready for visitors. But I found one piece worth the effort; a small room on the 2nd floor has a beautiful ceiling. It is easy to miss, so look carefully.

Thabet House 

The Thabet House is interesting mainly because it is the oldest of the Ottoman merchants’ houses of Rosetta, dating back to 1709. It has one detail which is different from most of the other; the corners are cut slantingly all the way up to the roof where the corners are finished off with the normal square corner.

Al-Mahali Mosque 

This tiny mosque is a strange view. Stepping into it, it gives a few directions and its elements and functions feel random. Which is altogether not wrong either. You could try to find two columns inside that looks the same. But it is quite possible that this mosque is the opposite of random, that it just tells its story with other methods than the standard mosques.

The mosque has 99 columns, the same number as Muslims believe that there are “names” for God. Just like each of these names are unique, so is every column. The columns, many taken from other religious buildings, may represent the continuity of old practices that reflect the continuity of the hearts of the believers.

Muallaqa Mosque  

Squeezed in between narrow streets of 3-storeyed houses, Muallaqa Mosque is noted for its 1st-floor balustrade, a very uncommon element to mosques. The interior looks far grander the impression from the exterior.