May 4, 2012

The Mosques of Cairo, c. 1000

The Mosques of Cairo, c. 1000
al-Muqaddasi

This particular mosque is known as al-Sufflani (the Lower). It was founded by ‘Amr bin al-‘As, and within it stands his pulpit. The building is well constructed, with some mosaics set into the walls. It stands on pillars of marble, and is bigger than the mosque at Damascus, and the crowding in it is greater than that of six other mosques here. The markets are all around it, except that between them and the mosque, on the side towards the Qibla, is the Dar al- Schatt, as well as storage spaces, and a place for performing the ablution. This district is the most flourishing in Misr; to the left is the Zuqaq al-Qanadil (the Corridor of the Lamps) but one can have no idea of what Zuqaq al-Qanadil is like!

Mosque of Cairo
The Fawqani (Upper Mosque) was built by the House of Taylun it is larger and more magnificent than the Sufflani mosque. It is built on massive pillars adorned with stucco, its roofs are lofty. In its centre is a vaulted structure resembling that of Zamzam, and therein is a drinking fountain. The mosque overlooks both the mouth of the canal and some part of it. Some extensions have been added to it, while behind it are some handsome residences. Its minaret is of stone; it is small and the steps to the top of it are on the outside.

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