After 15 Long Years, Al Zaher Baybars Mosque In Egypt Is Finally Open Post Renovation

by Anupriya Mishra
After 15 Long Years, Al Zaher Baybars Mosque In Egypt Is Finally Open Post Renovation

There are many places to visit in Egypt and this country is also home to several mosques. As you might know, Al-Fattah Al-Aleem Mosque is the biggest mosque in the country. However, did you also know that the third largest mosque, which is in Cairo has finally re-opened its doors? Yes, after being under renovation, for 15 years, Al Zaher Baybars mosque finally opened its doors and we are here to tell you all about it.

Al Zaher Baybars Mosque Reopens After 15-Year Renovation

Al Zaher Baybar Mosque Cairo
Pic credits: Wikimedia Commons

Al Zaher Baybars mosque is the third largest mosque in Egypt that is located in Cairo. The reopening ceremony happened in Old Cairo, which is known for its extensive Islamic relics. As it happens, on June 4, this ceremony was attended by renowned people, including Ahmed El Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, and Mäulen Äşimbaev, the Chairman of the Kazakh Senate. In fact, many prominent Egyptian and Kazakh officials were also there for this momentous occasion. According to a news report by the National News, Kazakhs who live in the area also attended this opening ceremony! Talking about the restoration work at the mosque, there was the repairing of its entryways that featured the use of ablaq masonry in Cairo. For those who aren’t aware, this is an architectural technique which uses alternate rows of light and dark stones.

Moreover, the interior walls of the mosque were made entirely of red bricks. And though some areas of the main mosque were restored, others were entirely reconstructed as they had been damaged beyond repair. So, new wooden gates constructed in the style of the Fatimids, keel arches, and stone wedges have been placed over the main entryway. As that happens, the outer wall has also been rebuilt to resemble its former fort-like appearance. This mosque is spread over a whopping 12,600 square metres, which gives it the title of the third-largest mosque in Egypt.

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A Brief History Of The Mosque

Offering Prayers
Pic credits: Wikimedia Commons

Talking about the mosque, it was constructed in 1269 during the start of the Mamluks’ rule in Egypt. As it happens, Baybars was born in the modern-day, Kazakhstan, and the mosque had fallen into disrepair in the 16th century. The report mentioned that during the time it was turned into a storage facility by the Ottomans who were ruling Egypt. After this, it was turned into a military fort during the French campaign in Egypt and canyons are placed on its walls while the minarets were used as a defensive tower. Not to mention, during the invasion of the British, in Egypt, this mosque was used as a military warehouse and thereafter, a slaughterhouse. So the restoration work was definitely long overdue!

It really does sound like a grand reopening!

Cover Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons (Images are for representative purposes only)