Al Al azhar is Where History Paved its Streets to Cross Via Eras
Paved streets by order of Mohamed Ali – the ruler of Egypt from 1805 to 1848, who is known as the founder of modern Egypt -will carry you to Al azhar street, where inevitably will come back with the time to the era of the Fatimid state. You will smell the scent of perfume and incense that is as if it went through history for your breath.
At this point, prepare your soul for the remarkable suspense by visiting Al azhar Mosque, seeing wide white tile that carries masterpiece architecture with an area of 12,000 square meters, the eight gates, and the five unique minarets. It is one of the world’s most celebrated building traditions, known for its rich patterns and symmetrical silhouettes.
Fatimids Heritage in Cairo
You will find a thing that pushes you to go around a mosque that has more than 1000 years old. It is the first architectural work set up by the Fatimids in Cairo, which was founded by Jawhar al-Siqli to be the capital of the Fatimid state. This second-oldest university in the world after Al-Qarawiyyin University was built in April 970 CE and opened in 971 CE, as Al azhar mosque was founded to be a mosque and university at the same time.
The architecture of the mosque was influenced by several architectural styles from both inside and outside Egypt, blending these influences together, and new architectural styles appeared with them that were a source of inspiration later, such as the domes that were built in the Ottoman period and the minarets built by the Mamluks, since the mosque is a collection of additions from construction was added to it in successive times, as with the succession of rulers over the rule of Egypt, the Al azhar Mosque remained the subject of the care of its kings, sultans, and princes.
Visit Al Azhar Mosque
Can you imagine now how amazing when you will first look at the Great Mosque of Al azhar!
In a few steps far away from Al azhar Mosque, you will find “Al-Muizz Li Din Allah Al-Fatimid” Street, one of the most important archaeological streets, not in Egypt alone, but at the world level. It is the largest open museum of Islamic antiquities, and embodied in it all aspects of Islamic architecture in all eras, from the Fatimid era until the beginning of the modern era, through the Ayyubid, Mamluk, Circassian, and Ottoman eras.
Al-Muizz Street dates back to 969 AD, that is, since the city of Cairo was built by “Jawhar al-Siqali,” commander of the armies of the fourth Fatimid caliph, “Al-Muizz Li Din Allah,” and the street now bears its name.
Roads Carry You to History like As the Time Machine to Live in a Different Era
Your way to Al azhar street will be via roads had been changed by Mohamed Ali, as he had changed the features of Cairo streets, and the traditional shape that began with the Fatimid state since the date of the establishment of Cairo in the year (358 AH – 969 AD) and passing through the golden age of Cairo in the era of the Mamluk state, then the Ottoman era and even after the exit of the French campaign from Egypt that left behind devastating effects.
Mohamed Ali Family and Al Azhar
In 1827 AD Mohamed Ali had ordered to remove the doors that were scattered in the lanes, removed the cemeteries that were in the heart of Cairo, planted the sides of some roads, dried part of the pond that was called Birkat al-Azbakeya, and ordered to organize and lighten the street.
In addition to hanging lanterns on the doors of buildings, he removed the rubble that surrounded Cairo and was carrying these toxins when any storm strikes and used its soil to fill the ponds that were scattered in Cairo, and he removed the terraces that were in front of the shops, which obstructed traffic in the streets and reduces their width. And he removed the mats that were shading the markets and the other things, which with wooden ceilings.
Al Azhar Street
In addition, residents were ordered to paint the houses white to make the streets look brighter, and the doors that were scattered in the lanes are removed. But when arriving at Al azhar street, please realize that this way has not belonged to Mohamed Ali or even the Fatimids; the idea of building Al Azhar Street arose during King Fouad’s visit to Al-Hussein Mosque and Al azhar Mosque through Al-Musky Street and Jawhar Al-Qaid.
And because of what the King suffered during his historic visit to Al-Hussein Mosque, the most important Islamic holy site in Cairo that was built during the era of the Fatimid Caliphate in 1154 with unique architecture, Al azhar Street and Al-Ataba Square were established in one year, 1930, and when Al azhar Street was opened to be its width is 26 meters, many buildings were demolished, including the Maghribi Mosque.
That is how Mohamed Ali and His family paved the way for you to start your tour through history and observe its buildings with your own eyes.