Cairo Sights

Mosque of Altunbugha al-Maridani

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Published 01/10/2017

Fodor's Review

Featuring fine examples of virtually every decorative art in vogue in the 14th century, this mosque was built by a son-in-law of Sultan Nasir al-Muhammad, who died at the tender age of 25, and was completed under the supervision of the sultan's architect. Enter the sanctuary behind the fine mashrabiyya screen and notice the collection of pillars of pharaonic, Christian, and Roman origin. The mihrab (prayer niche) is made of marble inlay and mother-of-pearl, and the wooden minbar (pulpit) is also beautifully carved and inlaid. Above the mihrab are excellent original stucco carvings, unique in Cairo for their naturalistically rendered tree motif. This wall also features dados of inlaid marble with square Kufic script.

Outside, be sure to admire the first example of a minaret in octagonal form from bottom to top; it is also the earliest extant example of just such a top. It is shaped like a pavilion, with eight columns carrying a pear-shaped bulb crown. Because this mosque is an active community center, its open hours tend to be longer than those of other monuments.

Sight Information


Shar'a al-Tabbana, Cairo, Cairo, Egypt

Sight Details:

  • Free

Published 01/10/2017


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