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Mosque of Sultan Baybars I

The Mosque of Sultan Baybars I locates in the El Zaher Square few meters away from El-Abbasiya Street. It can be reached also through the street of Sharia Port Said in which the Complex of El Qadi Yahya stands. The Husayniya quarter was once full of luxuriously decorated buildings that disappeared now because of earthquakes and other factors and the remaining parts were restored in the dynasty of Mohamed Ali . This mosque was established by Sultan Baybars I who ruled Egypt for about 17 years and then was poisoned in Damascus. He was one of the great fighters and rulers who managed to defeat the Mongols and the Crusaders in the battle of Ain Galut or Goliath’s spring. He is credited to returning Antoic from the European colonizers and controlling over the Crusader’s Le Crac des Chevaliers Castle in 1271. The Mosque of Baybars was designed to be one of the major congregational places in Cairo and its style of decoration is as beautiful as the Mosque of Ibn Tulun and El-Hakim that still exist. Yet it suffered from a great deal of misuse since it was used for several purposes through out history. It served firstly as a refugee for the victims of the Mongol devastation of Iraq and Syria. At the time of Napoleon invasion, the mosque was used as a fort and then as a soap factory and bake house and at the time of King Fuad the central courtyard was turned to a public garden. The mosque has two entrances: the main one appears in front of the central courtyard in the northwest wall, while the side door with its gate that is supported with handsome stucco panels on the inside wall. The interior plan of the mosque appears as a very wide courtyard preceding the Mihrab surrounded by side aisles. This mosque is worth admiration for the windows with stucco grills and some Kufic inscriptions on the frames that beautify the interior walls and its huge dome. The columns that support the building were taken from several places through out Egypt, and so the timbers that were used for ornamenting the walls and some of it still exist. The Mihrab of the mosque is very attractive and ornamented with marble that was brought from the town of Jaffa.

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