This instantly recognisable building crowns the skyline of Cairo from its location atop the citadel of Salah al-Din. The citadel was constructed from 1176, though the mosque was not built until the reign of Muhammad Ali (1769-1849) between 1832 and 1857.

The mosque is largely constructed in Ottoman style, indicating the political situation of Egypt during this period. Its tall, pointed minarets are 82 meters high. The interior is topped by a huge central dome, supported by four semi-domes. A further four domes support the roof at the corners.

The mosque has two minbars (pulpits), the larger one of wood and gilt decoration is original. The smaller alabaster minbar was a  gift of King Farouk in 1939.

Instead of marble, the architects chose Egyptian alabaster to decorate the mosque. Its distinctive veins can be seen in this 3D virtual tour of the mosque’s interior.