14. November 2004 12:54
by Rene Pallesen

The Citadel & Mohammed Ali Mosque

14. November 2004 12:54 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

the citadel mohammed ali mosque

Our first sightseeing trip after arriving in Egypt was the Citadel and the Mohammed Ali Mosque. The Citadel was once the home of the royal family until 1870, then the military took over this joint until the 1970s. It is still used occasionally by the military but mostly opened to visitors although certain sections are closed off to them.

Neither did our guide tell us much about the Citadel, nor give us the opportunity to explore. So most of the photos here are of the Mohammed Ali Mosque sitting on the Citadel.

The mosque is famous for its alabaster corridors, columns and floors. Alabaster is a cheaper form of marble that seems to be slightly more porous and does not have the smoothness or coolness of normal marble.

Adam, our guide sat everyone down in one corner of the mosque like school kids, and gave everyone some sort of history lesson about Islam and marriage.

The interior of the mosque was magnificent, with globes of light hanging in multiple rings from the ceiling. In the far right corner, there is a gilded green and gold staircase that leads to some sort of pulpit.
Local women were allowed into this mosque, but clad from head to foot. Female tourists were provided with a green abaayas if they were sleeveless or wearing shorts.

During Adam's chat about Islam and its history, René asked for more information about the Citadel, and was rudely scolded for not listening.
Adam did not give any more information about the Citadel for the rest of the trip...

Left: In another corner of the mosque was an enclosure containing the marble sarcophagi and burial place of the mosque's namesake - Mohammed Ali.
Right: The ceiling was also quite beautiful, but I could not use the camera flash and it was a little dark. In each "corner" of the dome were large arabic inscriptions in gold

Cairo has a brown haze over the city. The buildings are made of mud bricks.
Dirty-white and grey are the only other colours one can see.

Apparently there is a number 7 written above one of the doors of the Citadel. History says Napoleon and his troops numbered each of the entrances around the Citadel as he could not understand the local language.

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