World Travel GuidesMuhammad Ali Pasha Mosque, Cairo

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Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha, Cairo
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The Muhammad Ali Pasha Mosque is one of the most famous mosques in Cairo, Egypt. It was built between 1830 and 1848 by Muhammad Ali Pasha, the Wali of Egypt, in memory of his eldest son Tusun Pasha, who died in 1816.

Muhammad Ali Pasha Mosque is the most visible landmark in Cairo. It comprises a central dome surrounded by four smaller domes and four semi-circular domes. The main structure has a square plan measuring 41 meters on each side. The pinnacle of the mosque on the central dome is 52 meters from the ground. The central dome itself is 21 meters in diameter. On the western side of the mosque is a pair of minarets rising to 82 meters. This particular style of Ottoman architecture is usually reserved for mosques built on the command of a sultan. The fact that it was built by a non-sultan was an act of defiance and a declaration of Egyptian independence from the Ottoman Empire.


Another view of the Muhammad Ali Mosque in Cairo
Another view of the Muhammad Ali Mosque in Cairo
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It is not a coincidence that the Muhammad Ali Pasha Mosque resembles mosques in Istanbul. It was in fact modelled after the Yeni Mosque located in that city. The architect Yusuf Bushnak was also from Istanbul. With the courtyard of the mosque is the tomb of Muhammad Ali Pasha. He passed away in Alexandria in 1849, and was succeeded by his grandfather as wali.

A replica of the Muhammad Ali Pasha Mosque can be found at Taman Tamadun Islam, an Islamic-themed monument park in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia.

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