The beautiful Mohammed Ali Mosque or alabaster Mosque as it is sometimes known, sits in Cairo with its magnificent views of the pyramids of Giza. It was designed by the Greek architect Yussuf Bushnaq which he began at the beginning of the 1830’s finishing towards the end of the 1850’s. The Turks had once ruled Egypt and this shows in the design of this wonderful mosque, with a strong Ottoman style in its stunning domes, although these were rebuilt in the 1930s. Plenty of alabaster has been used in the construction of this magnificent building hence the title Alabaster Mosque; it really does lend an eerie outline in the sand, its white marble glistening against the blue skies. It took 18 years to build and it shows in every inch of this building.
The mosque is understandably popular with tourists and it’s worth seeing if only to admire the amazing architecture. There is a vast prayer hall in the courtyard from which you can see the mosque; and here you will also find a rather impressive looking clock which was a gift from Louis Philippe in return for the obelisk which now has pride of place at the Place de la Concorde in France. There is also a parapet to the southwest which gives excellent views of Cairo itself.
It is an imposing building and inside is even more impressive, with stunningly beautiful interiors. The Mosque was built in honour of Mohammed Ali, ruler of Egypt from 1805 to 1849 and his marble tomb is on the right as you enter the building. There are two minarets to this mosque and apparently under ottoman law this would usually be prohibited to Sultans only, who were the only ones allowed more than one minaret. Muhammad built two in order to expressive his intention to remain firm in his stand against Turkish rule.
To return to our main Egypt Tours page, please click here