February 28, 2021

The Great Mosque of Muhammad Ali

Cairo, Egypt
Under and hour

Welcome to the Great Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha, also known as the Alabaster Mosque. This mosque is truly beautiful. It sits on top of a large hill and is the only place high enough to view the entire city of Cairo, which is a magnificent sight to see. The Great Mosque of Muhammad Ali is one of the most famous landmarks and tourist sites in Cairo and can be seen from any direction in the city.

Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali was originally from Albania, and he ruled Egypt in the early 1800s. He is very important to the Muslim community because he is known to have founded the new Cairo. He is also the reason Muhammad Ali, the boxer, chose his name. Muhammad Ali Pasha was the last of the line of kings in Egypt. He is known for transforming Egypt into a region of power. 

History of the Mosque

The Great Mosque of Muhammad Ali is situated in the Citadel of Cairo in Egypt. It is known to be the grandest mosque in Cairo. The Great Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha or the Alabaster Mosque is the largest one built in the 19th century. It was commissioned by Muhammad Ali Pasha between 1830 and 1848. The mosque was built in memory of Tusun Pasha, Muhammad Ali’s oldest son, who passed away in 1816. Construction of the mosque began in 1830 and was finished in 1857 during the reign of Said Pasha. The mosque got the name Alabaster from the alabaster stone received from Beni Suef, which is a trade center in Egypt.

The mosque is mainly made of limestone, which comes from the Great Pyramids of Giza. However, the lower half of the mosque is made with alabaster. The external facades are roughly four stories high and sit evenly with the lead-covered domes. The mosque also has super high minarets, which are tall, slender towers. From these minarets, visitors can view the entire city, including the Giza Plateau.

Our Experience 

In Egypt, if you come with a large group, they consider you a VIP traveler. So, they assign what they call “the tourist police,” to follow you around the city. Our tourist police guided us throughout the city in an actual police car with a security guy in a suit with a gun. He went with us everywhere the entire time we were there. It was a pretty cool experience.  As far as difficulty goes, it wasn’t hard to walk through the mosque. Also, throughout our stay so far in Egypt, we haven’t had to wear a mask. 

In conclusion, we had an incredible time exploring and learning about the Great Mosque of Muhammad Ali. In addition, we were able to capture some amazing pictures and take in the true beauty of Cairo. I have been enjoying my time here in this country, and I’m so glad I can share my experiences with you. If you would like to know more about me and my passion for traveling, you can read more here.

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Big Guy Big World is a travel blog, following Mark Jacoby’s journey as a big guy on a bigger journey, exploring the world during a global pandemic. Follow along as we experience some of the world’s most beautiful and exotic places.

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