In Search of the Pharaoh's Daughter - IV

Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha in the Citadel Complex of Cairo (LEO Design)


The Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha, Ottoman ruler of Egypt during the first half of the Nineteenth Century, can be seen from much of the city of Cairo.  It is built high on a hill, within the fortified "Citadel" complex, the Medieval Islamic fortress which was the seat of Egypt's rulers for centuries.  The mosque was built between 1830 and 1848 of limestone, alabaster and lead—for the silvery metallic domes and other metal roofing.  The architect, from Istanbul, modeled it on the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in his city, also know as "The Blue Mosque.  Muhammad Ali Pasha is buried in this mosque.
Alabaster Forecourt of the Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha at the Citadel Complex in Cairo (LEO Design)
The gleaming white, alabaster forecourt provides clean and cool relief from the Cairo heat and dust (especially if one stays within the shade of the surrounding porticoes.  At center of the courtyard is an elaborate (decorative) washing area, although, today, observant Muslims perform ritual ablutions in a dedicated area, just outside the courtyard.
Interior view of the domed ceiling of the Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha in Cairo (LEO Design)
The interior appears spacious and ornate.  There is a large central dome, surrounded by four smaller domes and four half-domes.  The domes provide cooling (especially important when the interior is filled with worshipers) and helped to amplify sound in the days before modern sound engineering.  In earlier times, a cantor would climb the minaret to sing-out the call to prayer.
Carved Stone Lion Sculpture on a Fountain in the Citadel Complex, Cairo (LEO Design)
As a LEO, I cannot avoid sharing pictures of favorite felines—whether ancient, antique or contemporary.
Cats in the Citadel Complex in Cairo, Egypt (LEO Design)



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