The great Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha or Alabaster Mosque is a mosque situated in the Citadel of Cairo in Egypt and commissioned by Muhammad Ali Pasha between 1830 and 1848.

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Mosque of Mohammed Ali


Modelled on classic Ottoman lines, with domes upon domes upon domes, this alabaster-white mosque within the Citadel took 18 years to build (1830–48) and its interior is all twinkling chandeliers and luridly striped stone, the main dome a rich emerald green. Mohammed Ali lies in the tomb on the right as you enter.

The glitzy clock in the entrance courtyard was a gift from King Louis-Philippe of France in return for the obelisk that adorns the Place de la Concorde in Paris, but it arrived damaged and was never repaired.

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1. Gawhara Palace & Museum

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South of Mohammed Ali’s mosque is the Gawhara Palace & Museum, a lame attempt to evoke 19th-century court life, but it’s most often closed. There are…

2. Mosque of An Nasir Mohammed

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Dwarfed by Mohammed Ali’s mosque, this beautiful 1318 mosque is the only Mamluk work that Mohammed Ali didn’t demolish – instead, he used it as a stable…

3. Citadel

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Sprawling over a limestone spur on the city's eastern edge, the Citadel, started by Saladin in 1176 as a fortification against the Crusaders, was home to…

4. Police Museum

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The quirky but flyblown Police Museum is located within the Citadel's old prison building. Inside are displays of famous political assassinations,…

5. Site of the Massacre of the Mamluks

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From the terrace near the Police Museum you can look down into the narrow entrance where 470 Mamluk beys (governors) were killed by Mohammed Ali's troops…

6. National Military Museum

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Mohammed Ali’s one-time Harem Palace is now the lavish National Military Museum. It was closed for restoration on our last visit though unlike the other…

7. Carriage Museum

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Houses a collection of carriages used by Egypt's royalty from Khedive Ismail to King Farouk. Like many of the Citadel museums though, it's often shut.

8. Mosque of Suleiman Pasha

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Sulieman Pasha, governor of Cairo's Janissary troops, built this small Ottoman-style mosque in the early 16th century.