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Ancient Egypt Tours representative pick you up from your hotel in Cairo, start one of our Cairo; Giza Tours, Transferred to visit Once you exit the mosque of Al-Hakim, continue north and walk through one of the Northern gates of the citadel, Bab al-Futuh. When you reach the other side, turn right and follow the city wall for just a few minutes until you reach the second gate called Bab El Nasr. Walk through it to re-enter Islamic Cairo. Spend the next 30 or so minutes walking south down El-Gamaleya Street and Khan Gaafar Street, and witness a more genuine side of Islamic Cairo with fewer tourists around. Trays of freshly baked bread being carried upon heads, donkey’s pulling carts and authentic street food stalls can all be seen here.
It is a mausoleum dating back to the Mamluk era, and it was famous for an Egyptian saying that says, “Taste is the only way out of Egypt.” The stories about the owner of the shrine are limited to 3 stories, between a merchant and a fatwa from the guarded fatwa, or a blessed person or a man of Moroccan origin. To bury him where he fell.
Also known as Muizz Street, this is one of Cairo’s oldest streets. At approximately one kilometer long, this beautiful street features all kinds of colourful shops selling African spices, old antiques, clothing and perfumes to name a few. Feel free to wander into one or two of the side streets to find more interesting shops. This is the most touristy street in Islamic Cairo but it’s extremely pretty and as it continues north on our Islamic Cairo walking tour map, it contains a number of interesting sites.
Turn back onto El Moez Street and continue walking north on our Islamic Cairo walking tour map. As you reach the most Northern point of El Moez Street, you’ll see the impressive mosque of Al-Hakim on the right. The mosque, which was started in 990 and completed in 1013, is the second largest Fatimid mosque in Cairo. Like all mosques in Cairo, it’s free to go inside, but if you want to head up one of the tall minarets then you’ll need one of the key keepers to take you up for a small tip. This is worth doing as the views up there are pretty impressive.
Qorkamas dome It is an ancient tall mausoleum dome of unknown origin, whose location was next to the main door of the Al-Hakim Mosque, in a place that blocks the entrance to the mosque. People were confused about its origin, some of them said that it belongs to Prince Muhammad Qurqamas, or that it belongs to the sheikh seeking to be adjacent to his soil, which is now known by his name, or that it is the soil of the emir of the armies, Badr al-Jamali, due to the splendor of its construction and height, or that it is a cemetery that the ruler built for himself and was not buried in it, and later became known as the cemetery of the courier. As for the Egyptian Antiquities Authority, it registered it in the name of the Qerqamas Dome, although Karkamas is buried in his tomb located in the cemetery east of Cairo, next to the Khanqah of Sultan Faraj bin Barquq. Since this dome is alien to the construction of the Al-Hakim Mosque and its entrance is distorted, it was dismantled in October 1980 as part of the project to renovate the Al-Hakim Mosque, and was transferred to the Al-Ghafir cemetery, where it was rebuilt between the Sultan Al-Ashraf Barsbay Mosque and the tomb of Jani Bey Al-Ashrafy.
The main facade of the mosque is located on the western side of it, and it contains the entrance to the mosque and its annexes. It ascends to the mosque by several stairs. It is rectangular in shape and divided into two squares. The outer western square includes a courtyard surrounded by four porticos on its four sides covered by small domes based on marble columns. The courtyard is covered with a wooden roof in the middle with a rattle for ventilation. The eastern square is the qibla iwan covered by a wooden ceiling with simple decorations. In the middle of this iwan is a hollow mihrab carved entirely of marble, and next to it is a wooden pulpit. The bench of the amount occupies the entire western wall facing the qibla wall, and it is made of wood. As for the minaret, it is located on the main facade next to the door of the mosque. It is cylindrical in the Ottoman style and consists of two floors. The facade of the sabil is round, covered with gilded marble, and has four copper windows
It was established by Prince Mustafa Jaafar al-Silhdar, who is the chief dignitary of the coffee merchants in the Dhi al-Fiqar Katkhuda Agency. The house was built in the place of a coffee house called “Al-Mawardi Coffee”, which was within the endowments of Al-Khawaja Shehab Atta, so Haji Mustafa Jaafar and its surroundings bought it to build his house, and the house is currently used as an administrative headquarters for the North Cairo area for Islamic and Coptic antiquities.
The building was not at first a comprehensive mosque, and the Friday sermon was not delivered on its pulpit except in Ramadan in the year 799 AH / 1396 AD after it was repaired and renovated by Prince Yalbugha al-Salmi in the year 1396 AD by the order of Sultan Barquq. Ali Pasha, and at the end of the 19th century it was in a dilapidated state. The Committee for the Preservation of Arab Antiquities restored and renovated the mosque and preserved its decorations in 1928. The Supreme Council of Antiquities also renovated it and removed the buildings in front of its facade so that the decorations of the facade appeared completely. Al-Aqmar is one of the suspended mosques. When it was built, there were shops under it, and it is located in the Al-Nahhasin area on Al-Moez Street.
From the Qalawun Complex, continue north on El Moez Street until the street forks. In the middle of the forked road is Sabil-Kuttab of Katkhuda, an interesting looking building containing a public fountain, an elementary Quran school, and an adjoining residential wing. Built in 1744 by a forward-thinking Egyptian architect, Sabil-Kuttab of Katkhuda is an excellent example of the Ottoman and Mamluk style of architecture. The narrow structure has been described by some architects as “The treasure of Ottoman architecture“. This building’s exterior is more impressive than from the inside, so save some time by not going in.
From the courtyard, walk West along Sidi Al Dardirai Street and Al Kahkeen Street until you reach Al Motaz Ldin Allah Street which runs north to south. Follow it south and simply enjoy a more local and authentic side to Islamic Cairo. It’s along here where you’ll be greeted by more genuine welcoming smiles and hellos. There’s nothing really of interest to tourist shoppers here so there is less hassle than the previously visited market streets further north. The area is a real feast for the senses and a photographers playground.
Inal bath The bathroom is built in the style of Islamic public baths in the Middle Ages. It consists of a simple entrance that leads to a broken corridor that leads to the cold room, where the dressing is taken to prepare for bathing, and there are seating and lockers for keeping personal belongings, and that room leads to another corridor that leads to the warm room. The heated room, which was used in both the cold and hot rooms shallow domes to maintain the circulation of hot air. The heated room is characterized by an octagonal area in the middle of the basin and perpendicular to it are four iwans for sitting and four entrances in the corners that lead to khans, each with basins and terraces.
Take the left fork on the road passing Sabil-Kuttab of Katkhuda on your right and continue walking north on El Moez Street. Look out for Al Dabeeba Street on the right where you’ll clearly notice an interesting looking cafe named Cafe al-Lord. A well-known cafe in Islamic Cairo, Cafe al-Lord is only frequented by tourists so is not the most authentic Egyptian experience you’ll find in the area. But if pictures of Egyptian movie stars and life-size statues of famous figures is your thing, then feel free to rest your feet and drink tea or Turkish coffee at this overpriced but popular cafe.
Continue walking north on El Moez Street until you reach the Qalawun Complex on the left. The huge complex of Sultan Qalawun was built in 1284 by Sultan El Mansur Qalawum. It contains a mosque-medersa, a mausoleum and a mauristan (but in the 1920s, this was superseded by a new hospital). The Qalawun Complex is the earliest example of a new Syrian style of architecture and interior design of those times. It’s a stunning building with such amazing attention to detail and reminiscent of the Gothic style. This is definitely a highlight on our Islamic Cairo walking tour map.
The only one of its kind in the Middle East, this interesting museum features textiles from ancient Egypt and the Roman, Coptic and Islamic eras. The collection starts at the very beginning, with Pharaonic diapers, and moves on through beautifully embroidered Coptic tunics and great embroidered Kiswat (the panels that adorn the Kaaba in Mecca). It’s a small museum, but well worth a peek for anyone with an affinity for weaving and fabric.
At the end of Khan Gaafar Street, the road bends left until it joins Al Mashhad Al Husseini Street. Continue South along Al Mashhad Al Husseini Street and you’ll soon reach the major souk area of Khan el-Khalili. This market might be the most touristy attraction on our Islamic Cairo walking tour map, but it’s still a great place to buy your Egyptian souvenirs. Market traders work hard to grab your attention and lure you into their shops but some good deals are to be had with a bit of haggling. In addition to shops, there are several coffee shops, eateries, and street food vendors scattered throughout the market.
At the most southern end of Mashhad Al Husseini Street is a great spot to sit down for a relaxing drink. The line of inexpensive coffee shops on the west-side of the open square is great for people watching and views of the impressive Al-Hussein Mosque. Unfortunately, tourists are not allowed to enter this mosque but it’s still photo worthy from the outside. There are around 8 coffee shops, one after the other, but they’re all similar and offer pretty much the same menu of juices, soft drinks, teas and coffees.
Walk around the back of Al-Azhar Mosque and walk east along the cute book shop-lined street of Mohammed Abdou. You’ll soon reach a cosy courtyard which features Wasila Historical House in the south-eastern corner. Beit El Sit El Wasila is another example of early Egyptian architecture and is one of the oldest houses in the city. The highlight here is the ground floor hall and rooms which have been historically preserved and include some elegant wall paintings of travels and pilgrimages. The hall now houses a number of cultural events throughout the year with poetry being most popular.
The only challenge on our Islamic Cairo walking tour map is crossing busy Nafak Al Azhar Street. In the middle of the street is a tall safety fence, but locals seem to ignore this and squeeze through gaps to cross the road. Follow their lead to reach Al-Azhar Mosque on the other side, this is the last of the mosques on our Islamic Cairo walking tour map. Commissioned in 970, it was the first mosque erected in Cairo, a city that has now gained the nickname “the City of a Thousand Minarets”. It’s free to wander and explore inside and stairs to the minarets were open to the public during our visit.
The Mosque of Al-Sultan Al-Moayad Sheikh, Al-Moayad Mosque, or Al-Moayad Mosque is one of the famous archaeological mosques in Cairo, and it is described as the pride of the mosques of the Circassian Mamluk era.
The Sultan Al-Ghuri Complex or Funerary complex of Sultan al-Ghuri, also known as al-Ghuriya, is a monumental Islamic religious and funerary complex built by Sultan Qansuh al-Ghuri between 1503 and 1505 CE. The complex consists of two major buildings facing each other on al-Mu'izz li-Din Allah street (al-Muizz Street), in the Fahhamin Quarter,
We finish our Islamic Cairo walking tour map at the southern gate of Bab Zuwayla. Considered a major landmark, Bab Zuweila is one of three remaining gates in the walls of the Old City and is the last remaining southern gate. Its name comes from Bab, meaning “Door”, and Zuwayla, the name of a clan of Berber soldiers from the western desert, who were entrusted with guarding the gate. Back to hotel We recommend arriving at sunset so you can watch the sun drop over the city from one of the two towering minarets. The views up there were the best we found in Cairo.
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund. For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time. If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded. Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted. Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time. This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.