Al-Mu'ayyad Mosque


Al-Muizz el-Din Allah Street
Next to Bab Zwayla
Cairo, Egypt


+20 (0)2 391 3454 (Tourist Information)


Al-Mu'ayyad Mosque is a huge mosque next to Bab Zwayla, that joins with the city walls. From the outside it looks more like a fortress, and is often known as the Red Mosque because of the reddish hue of its pink and brown striped exterior. Al-Mu'ayyad Mosque was built in the 15th Century on the site of the prison that the founder was formerly locked up in, for plotting against the Sultan of the time. The entrance is a huge niche with multicoloured marble geometric patterns and a massive bronze door. Al-Mu'ayyad and his son are buried just before the main part of the mosque, underneath large marble cenotaphs. The main prayer hall is quite ornate, with a mix of marble columns, some of which have Corinthian style heads. There is the standard profusion of Mamluk white, red and black marble arranged in rectangular geometric patterns, as well as lots of beautiful carved wood, especially the finely wrought doors, and calligraphy. The gilded ceiling is in fantastic condition, and there are beautiful, simple stained glass windows in red, yellow, blue and green. The courtyard is huge, with carved walls and impressive rows of columns, and "Fleur de Lis" type crenulations on the tops of the walls. The minarets of al-Mu'ayyad mosque are actually tacked on to Bab Zwayla: they are intricate and delicate, and look almost like a spire-shaped wedding cake!


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