The Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan has a great power to turn heads as it’s known to be one of the most beautiful Islamic structures in the world due to its ability to combine a multiplicity of decorations in the most elegant way. It is regarded as the finest example of early Mamluk architecture in Cairo as it was built by Sultan Hassan between 1356 A.D AND 1363 A.D. Sultan Hassan Mosque is very colossal as it is 150m in length and covering 7,906 sq M in the land, its walls rise to 36M high. It’s rumored that the construction was so expensive, it nearly emptied the Mamluk Treasury, and the builders even used stones from Giza pyramids.
The Architecture of Sultan Hassan Mosque
The Mosque style of architecture is pretty unique as it was designed in the form of a Madrassa (school). The design of the decorations is known to very well-organized and systematic in a fashionable manner. It consists of a central open courtyard in the middle of which is a breathtaking ablutions fountain which was probably added during the Ottoman era. The central courtyard is surrounded by four soaring liwans (teaching areas), Skilfully fitted between and behind each liwan is a madrasa, complete with its own courtyard and four stories of chambers for students and teachers. The liwans were dedicated to teaching the four main Sunni schools of jurisprudence which are Hanafi, Malaki, Hanbali, and Shafi’i.
Components of Sultan Hassan Mosque
Sultan Hassan also built a mausoleum for himself behind the largest liwan which included a number of splendors of Islamic art for its walls are paneled with colored stone and marble, the upper parts of which boasts a band of stucco decoration, that consists of an inscription based on Qur’anic verses in “Kufic” script on a floriated background, the style of which is rarely seen and also contain the marble mihrab and the minibar. The mausoleum was beautifully decorated as its door is made of bronze and decorated with radiating stars in gold and silver, The marble mihrab in it is embellished with detailed geometric decoration in marble mosaic and its dome was supported on a stalactite pendentives which look very beautiful in the morning time. It was designed to face Mecca, so the prayers had to face the empty mausoleum every time they faced the qibla which is considered to be very abnormal. Any tourist may confuse it with Al-Rafa’ I Mosque which was an imitation of this amazing monument.
Tours to Sultan Hassan Mosque
You can take a visit to this Islamic monument during your Cairo tours, or you can check our Egypt private tours to enjoy visiting the mosque mixed by all the historical landmarks and pharaonic treasures in the immortal cities Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, and Aswan accompanied by an Egyptologist tour guide.