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Photographer's Note

emka has recently presented so many beautiful mosques it made me think about the mosques which I have seen so far. The first one which came to my mind is the Alabaster Mosque in Cairo. I have visited this beautiful structure participating in an organized tour so my time was quite limited and therefore I would really like to visit it one day again having more time and the camera lenses which I own now. This photo presents fragment of the courtyard with ablution facilities.

The great Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha or Alabaster Mosque is a mosque situated in the Citadel of Cairo in Egypt and commissioned by Muhammad Ali Pasha between 1830 and 1848.

Situated on the summit of the citadel, this Ottoman mosque, the largest to be built in the first half of the 19th century, is, with its animated silhouette and twin minarets, the most visible mosque in Cairo. The mosque was built in memory of Tusun Pasha, Muhammad Ali's oldest son, who died in 1816.

This great mosque, along with the citadel, is one of the landmarks and tourist attractions of Cairo and is one of the first features to be seen when approaching the city from no matter which side.

Before completion of the mosque, the alabastered panels from the upper walls were taken away and used for the palaces of Abbas I. The stripped walls were clad with wood painted to look like marble. In 1899 the mosque showed signs of cracking and some inadequate repairs were undertaken. But the condition of the mosque became so dangerous that a complete scheme of restoration was ordered by King Fuad in 1931 and was finally completed under King Farouk in 1939.
Muhammad Ali Pasha was buried in a tomb carved from Carrara marble, in the courtyard of the mosque. His body was transferred here from Hawsh al-Basha in 1857.

The main material is limestone but the lower storey and forecourt is tiled with alabaster up to 11,3 meters. The external facades are severe and angular and rise about four storeys until the level of the lead-covered domes.

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Additional Photos by Mariusz Kamionka (mkamionka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2863 W: 95 N: 7094] (29750)
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