Al-Azhar Mosque

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Al-Azhar mosque and the adjoining university buildings are some of the oldest in the world. Built in 970 AD, few realize that Al-Azhar had many ‘firsts’, from the distinctive black, graduating robes used around the world, to the very institutionalization of education for the purposes of a strong national administration. The mosque occupies a central location in old Cairo, and is a perfect starting point for an exploration of Khan Al-Khalili market. Because it was originally a Shiite Ismaili institution, various Egyptian rulers either shunned it, or restored it to greatness, respectively. Presently, Al-Azhar Mosque is a Sunni institution, and a symbol of modern, Islamic Egypt. The style is uniquely Fatimid, with keel-shaped arches, hypostyle halls, and a fantastic courtyard where polished marble floors reflect the heavens above.

A Special Place for Modern Egyptians
The mosque is important for many reasons. It has the capacity to influence politics in an official capacity, with some sheikhs appointed to the governing councils throughout history. In the modern day, official pronouncements, or ‘Fatwas’ from Al-Azhar reverberate politically across the country, and throughout the Arab world. The current curriculum extends well beyond religion, and now encompasses philosophy, science, and the arts. The mosque itself features a variety of traditions, and of note are its many filigreed minarets which demonstrate the mosque’s Mameluk and Fatimid eras. Just as visiting the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, Israel, or the Czestochowa monastery in Poland – Al-Azhar is widely seen as the religious heart of modern Egypt.

  • To enter the mosque, a local attendant might require you cover your shoulders, bring a scarf or shawl.
  • The mosque attendant might try to improperly charge an admission fee, your Sidekick will supervise.
 Admission
  • Al-Azhar M. FREE
 ISIC Student Card
  • Not Necessary

 Notes
  • Approx. (MIN)30 
  • Three Minarets
  • Hypostyle Halls
  • Decline Guides
  • Shade Available
 Transportation
  • Leisurely walkabout
  • Close to Khan Al-Khalili
  • Driver will park/wait

Looking for a complete list of Admission Rates?

Jan Zak

A dual EU-Canadian citizen with roots in Wroclaw, Poland, Jan is responsible for communication and social media. He is an avid sports enthusiast, with a keen love for professional road cycling and world travel. Based out of Toronto, Canada, he is involved in several youth-oriented charities, and referees soccer part-time.

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