The Alabaster Mosque – Islamic Cairo Art Print
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As my time in Egypt drew to a close, I had the opportunity to experience the Alabaster Mosque. The mosque seen in this Cairo print is officially the Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha. It is as you can see a massive piece of Classic Ottoman architecture which towers over Cairo from the summit of the old Citadel. It was built by Muhammad Ali Pasha, ruler of Egypt, in memory of his late son, Tusun. As such, the inside and outside of this 19th century mosque is simply on a grand, regal scale. There is a real sense of old world craftsmanship in all the architectural details from the delicate minarets to the great lead domes. Truly the Alabaster Mosque is a work of art in its own right.
If you look closer at this Alabaster Mosque print you’ll notice the lower portion and upper portion of the Mosque are of different types of stone. It was originally intended to all be alabaster but by the time it was completed decades later, just the lower section retained its planned alabaster panels. The upper stories are in limestone which looks so natural you would think it was always planned that way. But it’s an interesting bit of trivia that the Alabaster Mosque really isn’t as alabaster as it was intended to be.
The Alabaster Mosque today is something of a museum piece. It’s still officially a place of worship, but it appears that like many heritage buildings, the tourists far exceed the locals. In fact, if you look at the people surrounding the Alabaster Mosque in this print, you’ll see a good many of them are clearly travelers from other lands who likewise came to see that beautiful old building reaching into the skies over Cairo.
Have you visited the Alabaster Mosque in Cairo? Or perhaps the exotic architecture simply appeals to you? Whatever the case, I would love to hear what you find most striking about this particular print?