Egyptian / Egyptian Revival Architecture - Table of Contents ................Architecture Around the World

Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha
The
Alabaster Mosque
Cairo, Egypt

Exterior photos

Interior photos


Built:
1830-1848
Renovations:
1931-1939 ... 1980s.
In 1931 serious structural deviancies were found in the dome and it had to be totally rebuilt. It took two years. Between 1937 and 1939 the decoration was renewed.
In the middle of the 1980s the whole Citadel complex was once again renovated.
Architect:
Yusuf Bushnak, Greek architect from Istanbul (Constantinople)
Style:
Islamic, Classical Ottoman
Exterior materials:
Walls are limestone but the lower story and courtyard are tiled with alabaster ... Domes are lead-covered.

Before completion of the mosque, the alabastered panels from the upper walls were taken away and used for the palaces of Abbas.
Location: The Citadel -  the fortified structure designed to provide protection during a battle - is sometimes referred to as Mohamed Ali Citadel because it contains the Mosque of Mohamed Ali Pasha perched on the summit of the citadel.
Namesake:
Mosquecommissioned by Muhammad Ali Pasha, an Albanian general in the Ottoman army who later became a ruler of Egypt and founder of the country's last dynasty of Khedives and Kings, in memory of Tusun Pasha, Muhammad Ali's oldest son, who died in 1816.  Muhammad Ali was the first independent ruler of Egypt  and he chose to build his state mosque entirely in the architectural early style of royal Ottoman mosques of Istanbul.
Historic importance:
When Ottoman ruler Muhammad Ali Pasha took control from the Mamluks in 1805 he tore down the remains of Mamluk palaces and altered many of the additions to the Citadel that reflected Cairo's previous leaders.

Placing the mosque where the Mamluks had once reigned was an obvious effort to erase the memory of the older rulers and establish the importance of the new leader. The mosque also replaced the mosque of al-Nasir as the official state mosque.

Muhammad Ali was more eager to build modern factories than religious foundations.
Distinction:
The most visible mosque in Cairo

Photos and their arrangement 2009 Chuck LaChiusa
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