Al Rifai Mosque in Cairo

An historical Mosque in a location most famous, that of the heart of Old Cairo in one of the oldest squares and at the foot of the renowned Citadel of Saladin. Sitting directly alongside the also old and historical Mosque of the Sultan Hassan, they compliment each other. 


Very easy to locate as the Al Rifai Mosque and Sultan Hassan Mosque sit at the square in front of the Citadel in Old Cairo, about 30 minutes from Downtown. 


The two Mosques stand out due to their immense scale, grand but not oppressive yet monumental..The Rifai Mosque is pseudo-Mamluk, built between 1869 and 1912 for Princess Khushyar, the mother of Khedive Ismail. With the royal entrance now closed, you enter on the side facing Sultan Hassan. Straight ahead in a sandalwood enclosure lies the tomb of Shiekh Ali al-Rifai, founder or the Rifai tariqa of dervishes, whose moulid occurs during Gumad el-Tani. Off to your lest are mashrabiya-screened tombs of King Fouad, his mother, the last Shah of Iran and King Farouk of Egypt. The monumental sanctuary ( on the left) is impressive, but after Ismail’s chief eunuch had overseen its 44 columns, 19 types of marble and 18 window grilles: what it lacks is the power of simplicity embodied by the mosques of Ibn Tulun and Sultan Hassan.
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