The Mosque of Ibn Tulun – the oldest and largest mosque of Cairo

09 Jan 2021  Sat

The Mosque of Ibn Tulun is located in Cairo, Egypt. It is the oldest mosque in Egypt as well as the whole of Africa surviving in its full original form and is the largest mosque in Cairo in terms of land area. Since Ibn Tulun Mosque has much open space, it boasts both sunlight and shadows. It is built around an open square courtyard which allows natural light to travel through. Ibn Tulun Mosque features Samarra style - its decorations being created from carved stucco and wood.

The mosque was commissioned by Ahmad ibn ?ulun, the Abbassid governor of Egypt from 868–884 whose rule was characterized by de facto independence. The mosque is constructed around a courtyard, with one covered hall on each of the four sides, the largest being on the side of the qibla, or direction to Mecca. The original mosque had its ablution fountain (sabil) in the area between the inner and outer walls. A distinctive sabil with a high drum dome was added in the central courtyard at the end of the thirteenth century by the Sultan Lajin.

The Ibn Tulun mosque, which is famed for its architecture and unique minaret featured on the 5 Egyptian Pound banknote issued 1970.

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