Mosque of Abu Abbas al-Mursi

sights / Religious

Lonely Planet review

This stately mosque was originally the tomb of a 13th-century Sufi saint from Murcia in Spain. Today, it dominates a large midan that covers an entire city block, which is easily visible and accessible from the Corniche. Several successive mosques have been built and rebuilt on the site; though the current structure dates to the modern era, it’s still an attractive octagonal building with a soaring central tower and an interior decorated with eye-catching Islamic mosaics, tiling and woodwork. Devotees still flock to al-Mursi’s shrine under the main floor. Leave your shoes at the entrance and slip the attendant a little baksheesh (tip) when you collect them. On summer nights a carnival-like atmosphere surrounds the mosque, with everything from pony rides to bumper cars to merry-go-rounds.