THE MOSQUES OF EGYPT
3.THE FATIMID PERIOD, 358 - 567H. (969- 1171 A.D.).
5- THE MOSQUE OF AL- GUYUSHI 478H.(1085) . THIS MOSQUE stands on the edge of the Muqattam and overlooks the Citadel of Salah ad- Din. It is the first landmark to be seen, when one looks towards the east of Cairo. It was built by the Fatimid Wazir Badr al- Gamali, Amir al- Guyush, in 478H. (1085). It is a small mosque, but of architectural importance. Its minaret is one of the oldest existing in Egypt. It rises from the roof of the mosque, exactly over the entrance. It begins as a square shaft with a cornice of two tiers of stalactites at the summit. On this is set a cube, and then an octagon, covered by a dome. The stalactites at the top of the shaft are the oldest example of this form of ornament in Egypt. The plan of this mosque is unlike any other in Cairo. One enters through a doorway in the centre of the west faade, into a vestibule, flanked to the right by the staircase which leads up to the minaret, and to the left by a cross- vaulted room; this vestibule leads to an open sahn. On either side of the latter is a tunnel- vaulted room, and opposite, is a triple- arched faade consisting of a wide pointed arch, resting on two pairs of marble columns, with two narrow ones flanking it. This triple- arched faade opens into the sanctuary, which consists of a transverse aisle covered by three cross- vaults, on the other side of which are three arches, the central leading into a square covered by a dome on an octagonal drum supported by means of squinches at the four corners of the square. A band of inscription in decorated Kufic runs round the summit of the square. At the apex of the dome is a verse from th Qur'an, written in Kufic in a circle, in the centre of which are the names of Muhammad and 'Ali alternating and repeated. The two flanking arches lead into two cross- vaulted extensions to right and left. In this mosque is one of the finest stucco mihrabs in Egypt. There are two bands of inscriptions in decorated Kufic, which form inner and outer borders for the beautiful decoration which fills the spanderls of the arch. The whole was crowned by the band of pierced ornament, a few traces of which still remain. . Plates 18- 20.