Cairo Sights

Mosque and Tomb of Qijmas al-Ishaqi (Abo Heriba mosque)

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Published 01/10/2017

Fodor's Review

Restored in the early part of the 20th century, this complex was one of the jewels of Mamluk architecture. Its decorated facade reflects the ornate style popular under the reign of Sultan Qayt Bay. Qijmas served in the sultan's court until he took an appointment as viceroy of Damascus, where he died peacefully and was buried in 1487. By the late 15th century, when this mosque was built, space was at a premium in this part of Cairo, and the careful and elegant orientation of the mosque on the small, irregular plot of land demonstrates the architect's creativity.

Despite its irregular footprint, the mosque is a perfect cruciform plan. And the quality of light is excellent, as it filters in through the shukhshayhka (lantern) of the central covered court and through the stained glass of the windows. Notice the prayer niche, with its inlaid white marble. The circle in the middle carries the name of the proud artist, written twice in mirror image—from left to right and vice versa.

Sight Information


Shar'a Darb al-Ahmar, Cairo, Cairo, Egypt

Sight Details:

  • Free

Published 01/10/2017


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