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Mosque-Madrassa of al Ghouri
Hmam Al Ghoria, El-Darb El-Ahmar, El-Darb El-Ahmar, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
Qansuh al-Ghouri was the penultimate Mamluk sultan of Egypt, and ruled for the first 16 years of the 16th Century. The area where the southern half of Muizz li-Din-Allah street meets al-Azhar street contains a number of monuments built by him, including the Wikala al-Ghouri, the Mausoleum al-Ghouri, and the Mosque-Madrassa al-Ghouri. The impressive Mosque-Madrassa al-Ghouri has been beautifully restored, its outside decorated with horizontal bands of dun and cream marble, Arabic stonework calligraphy and geometric patterns. The entrance to the Mosque-Madrassa al-Ghouri is an incredibly ornate niche doorway of black and white marble, that looks almost like a strange, fractal mountain range. The mosque itself is not that big, but feels light and spacious nonetheless, and has beautiful marble floors, ornately carved stone walls, and the black, white and dun coloured marble banding so typical of Mamluk architecture. The Mosque-Madrassa al-Ghouri also boasts some splendid stained glass arch windows, a gold coloured carved wood ceiling, and even a large, gothic-looking iron chandelier. As with most mosques, for a little bit of baksheesh you are able to climb the minaret. A thoroughly recommended mosque!