Ahmad lbn Tulun Mosque
Ahmad lbn Tulun Mosque, one of the largest and oldest Muslim temples in Egypt, was erected in the years 876-879 by Ahmad Ibn Tulun on the low hill of Yashkur in an estate called al-Qata'i. Ibn Tulun, founder of the Tulunid dynasty (868-905), was born in Baghdad as the son of a Turkish slave of Mongolian origin, property of Caliph al-Mamun, who became the indispensable Abbasid official. Ibn Tulun's career was brilliant: was governor of Egypt, an almost independent ruler, before he died in 870 r. Within three years, he built a mud-brick mosque, which became the center of the Tulunid capital for the next 26 years. Friday Mosque (140 me and 122 m), occupying the great square of the courtyard by a side 92 m, It is surrounded on three sides by a double portico. A frieze runs along the arcades (2 km long) with Koranic inscriptions.
The arcades of the arcades rest on square pillars, and on the fourth side there is a three-nave prayer room with a repeatedly modified mihrab. The construction is brick and plastered (restored in 1918 r.). The sparing decoration is only a stylized plant ornament made in stucco on the archivolts of the arches, capitals of columns and cornices. The mosque is crowned with an unusual minaret with a spiral, an external staircase at the north-west facade. This shape is closely related to Mesopotamian architecture and resembles the Persian towers of the fire cult. legend has it, that the mosque was designed by a free Christian, who united all the elements in a building, however, he could not present the most important element – God, whose power is felt in this temple.
Adjacent to the mosque is the Gayer-Anderson Museum, founded in 1937 r. in two old houses: Bejt al-Kiridiliya (Kritiliya; "House of Cretan women"; 1632) and Beit Amna Bent Salim (1540). The first has a sabil in the southwest corner, second – courtyard with an arched portico. The private collection of Major Gayer-Anderson is on display here: furniture, glass, crystals, carpets, silks and embroidered Arab costumes.
City of the Dead
W 2007 r. Cairo authorities have banned tourists from visiting both parts of the City of the Dead: at the Southern Cemetery and the Northern Cemetery (al-Karafa), motivated by the inability to ensure their safety. Police patrols are now stationed at more important and more frequently visited cemeteries. The reason is simple: Two to three million new Cairoans lived in the cemeteries of the City of the Dead, who live there without electricity and water, occupying old mausoleums and tombs.
The South Cemetery is older and bigger, equated with the al-Khalifa residential area, whose name derives from the Abbasid caliphs who are buried here.
Going south shari ′ al-Khalifa, you come to the Sajida Sukajna mosque, Husain's daughters.
The North Cemetery is located south of Midan Barquq and east of the busy and cruising sharia’ Salah Salem, leading from the Citadel. There you can see wonderful examples of burdens' tomb architecture, Mamluk sultans from the 14th-16th centuries.
The mausoleum of Sultan Qajtbej is one of the most beautiful and important (ok. 1474 r.), building complex consisting of a mosque, madrasas and mausoleum, which are held together by the façade in convex stripes. Qaitbej was the last of the great Mamluk sultans. A graceful minaret rises above the funerary complex, decorated with a series of niches, stalactites on supports and balconies, which is crowned with a characteristic helm.
A portal with white and red stripes and a lace of stalactites at the top of the arch leads to the mosque. The interior is decorated with marbles arranged in geometric motifs. The madrasah with livas has an elaborate sculptural decoration on the vault.
The mausoleum is entered from the inner courtyard. The prayer niche is decorated with colorful stones. The burial chamber is covered with a huge stone dome on pendentives with stalactites, from the outside it is decorated with a geometric braid.