10 Things You Have to See in Islamic Cairo
We take a walk around the capital's historic quarters...
We take a walk around Cairo's historic quarters to soak in the sights of Egypt's rich Islamic history. Here are some go to spot whether you're a tourist, budding photographer or cultural adventurer.
Salah El Din Castle
Other than being an architectural gem, Salah El Din's castle has been enthralling its visitors since 1184 with its fortifications and the beautiful mosque of Muhammad Ali encompassed inside.
Ameer El Geyoush cafe
With gorgeous Arab and historical Islamic decor, spending time here will give you an authentic trip back in time. With backgammon and tablas, things are going to get interesting if you've got a bunch of friends with you.
Sultan Qalawun Mosque
A must-stop on any tour, Sultan Qalawun's mosque is a beautiful sight to feast your eyes on in the Islamic side of Cairo. His burial site is a very nice spiritual place as well and the whole edifice is beautifully lit.
Cafe El Lord
Very well known for its knickacks and crazy accessories, El Lord is a cafe where you can take Instagram photos with legends like Um Kalthoum.
Sightseeing doesn't have to mean specific locations; look up in Islamic Cairo and you'll have a feast for your camera lens. There are four types of minaret styles related to different periods of Egyptian history: Othmany, Abbasi, Fatimy and Mamluki. Othmany (Ottoman) are pointy and cylindrical, Abbasi (Abbasid) are made of different layers - usually starting on a square base then cylindrical middle then polygonal top. Fatimy (Fatimid) are thin and tall and Mamluki (Mamluk) have little 'balconies' while maintaining the octagonal shape.
Al Hakim Be Amr Ellah Mosque
Built in 989 (no, we did not skip a number), this iconic structure is one of most known Islamic landmarks in the whole of Egypt, if not the whole Arab world. With beautiful interior and polished ground, a photo there will definitely impress everyone you know.
He owns this little kiosk for antiques and artefacts from across the ages, add a touch of history to your home decor. The shop owner himself is very well versed in the area and its history, as well as the items he has for sale.
Taking 40 years to build, Al Rifa'i mosque holds highly detailed ornaments and the of tombs of Egyptian rulers past. Its building materials were imported from Europe until its architect died, forcing the building process had to go on pause for some time.
You can find everything in Moez Street from silver/gold pieces of art to rare accessories and clothing, as well as historic landmarks and brilliantly detailed doors, alleyways and courtyards from a bygone era.
Sultan Hassan Mosque
It's a school/mosque - a mix that was common in past eras where mosques were the schools of the country. Built in 1362 with its beautiful copper-covered interior, it's considered one of Cairo's most consistent architectural pieces.
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