Mosque of Al-Hakim Cairo, Egypt

Located on the right side of bab el futuh in Islamic Cairo Is the magnificent al-hakim mosque named after the third fatimid caliph who became one of the most notorious despots ever to rule Egypt. The mosque was actually an enclosure of Gawhar Al-Siqilli, but was incorporated into the extended fortifications built by Badr al-Gamali. The structure of the building followed the precedent of the mosque of ahmed ibn tulun being constructed on the principles of arcades with piers and pointed arches and also contained an intermediate space separating the mosque from the city around it.

The mosque is constructed of brick with stone facades and minarets. Its irregular rectangular plan is composed of a rectangular courtyard, with a prayer hall whose arcades are carried on piers. The aisle leading to the mihrab is emphasized both in width and height. The termination of this aisle at the mihrab is marked by a dome carried on squinches, and domes mark the outer corners of the prayer hall as well. It was destroyed by a great earthquake but was restored by Baybars Al-Gashankir and once again by sultan hassan in 1302 but after that it fell into disuse and served as a prison, stables, fortress, and storehouse. The mosque remained greatly ruined until major reconstruction took place in the 1980s, by which all the arcades were rebuilt except for those on the qibla side, covered the sahn in marble, and remodeled the facade, In the course of the reconstruction, the mausoleum of Qurqumas originally situated immediately outside the entrance to the complex, was dismantled and reconstructed in the precincts of the funerary complex of Barsbay in the northern cemetery.

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