The Citadel & Mohammad Ali’s Mosque
Built by Saladin in 1176 to protect Egypt from the crusaders, the Citadel was the strategic stronghold of Cairo for 700 years. Overlooking the city it was easy to defend from any attacks. It was designed as a fortress, much inspired by the fortresses of Syria and Palestine, used by the armies during the Crusades. Later Mameluke sultans and Turkish governors made it their residence.
The Citadel is actually made up of several buildings. One of the most famous buildings in this compound is the famous Mosque of Muhammad Ali.
Mohammad Ali's Mosque is one of the most famous mosques in Egypt. It is distinguished by its beautiful architectural design, numerous domes, and tall minarets. The architects modeled it after the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. Due to the extensive use of alabaster stone throughout, it is also called the “Alabaster Mosque.” The mosque is a masterpiece and an excellent example of Islamic art. The roof is decorated with five domes and five half domes. The mosque is rectangular in shape and divided into two sections: the Eastern Section, the main section in which the prayers and sermons are held and the Western Section, an open courtyard.