Sultan Hassan mosque is one of the most beautiful Islamic structures in the world due to its ability to combine a multiplicity of enchanting decorations in the finest manner.
It is considered to be the best 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 quite massive as it is 150m in length and covering 7,906 sqm inland plus its walls are 36 m tall.
It’s rumored that the construction was so costly expensive, it nearly emptied the Mamluk Treasury and the most expensive mosque in medieval Cairo the builders even used stones from the Giza Pyramids.
Sultan Hassan Mosque Architecture
Sultan Hassan mosque style of architecture is absolutely incredible as it was designed in the form of a Madrassa (school) and it resembles a cruciform.
The decorations are famous for being very well-organized and systematic in the most elegant manner. The mosque has a central open courtyard in the middle of which is a breathtaking ablutions fountain that was probably installed during the Ottoman era.
The central courtyard is surrounded by four great Liwans (teaching areas), and behind each Liwan is a madrasa, complete with its own courtyard and four floors of chambers for both students and teachers and each Liwan is dedicated to the teaching of four main Sunni schools of jurisprudence which are Hanafi, Malaki, Hanbali, and Shafi’i.
The marble mihrab in it is designed with detailed geometric decoration in marble mosaic and its dome was supported on stalactite pendentives that look very enchanting during the morning time. It was designed to face Mecca, so the prayers faced the mausoleum every time they prayed which is considered to be very usual. Many tourists may confuse it with Al-Rifai Mosque which was an imitation of this mosque.
The Mausoleum of Sultan Hassan
Sultan Hassan constructed a mausoleum for himself behind the largest Liwan which features amazing Islamic art on its walls and are paneled with colored stone and marble, the upper parts of holds decorations which consist of an inscription based on Quranic verses in “Kufic” script on a floriated background, the style is rarely seen and also contains the marble mihrab and the Minbar. The mausoleum was beautifully decorated as the door is made of bronze and decorated with radiating stars in gold and silver.