Monuments Sight Seeing Attractions Salih Talai Mosque

Monuments Sight Seeing Attractions Salih Talai Mosque

Monuments Sight Seeing Attractions Salih Talai Mosque was built in 1160 by the emir As-Salih Talai who was vizier to the last of the Fatimid caliphs,There are five Persian arches within the freestone facade, which are concealed from the street by mashrabiya panels.

These were added about the same time as the minbar inside.

Around the interior courtyard the columns supporting the arches of the porticos are surmounted by ancient capitals.

In the upper wall of the qibla wall are windows decorated with stained glass and stuccowork. The minbar dates to 1300 and is engraved with star motifs.

Of interest are the shops of the building which are today, below ground but were at street level when the mosque was built.

Monuments Sight Seeing Attractions Salih Talai Mosque

Monuments Sight Seeing Attractions Salih Talai Mosque

Monuments Sight Seeing Attractions Salih Talai Mosque history

The mosque of al-Salih Tala’i’, built by the Fatimid vizier al-Salih Tala’i’ ibn Ruzzik in 1160/554-555 AH during the caliphate of al-Fa’iz, is the second extant Fatimid mosque to be built by a vizier, the first being that of al-Aqmar.

Originally it was conceived as a shrine to house the head of al-Husayn, which was brought to Cairo from its shrine in Ascalon by the vizier when it was threatened by an impending attack from the Crusaders. But the caliph instead kept the relic in a shrine in the Fatimid palace, which became part of the Mosque of al-Husayn when the palace was destroyed.

Monuments Sight Seeing Attractions Salih Talai Mosque

The mosque’s intended use as a shrine for a Shi’i martyr may account for the introduction of an entrance portico consisting of five keel arches, a feature unique among Cairene mosques.

The prayer hall consists of three aisles which run parallel to the qibla wall; the three other sides of the courtyard have one aisle each.

The exterior walls are built of stone; the interior arcades are formed by brick keel arches carried on columns with spolia capitals.

The arches are framed by a continuous band of Qur’anic verses executed in a floriated Kufic script (Kufic script on an arabesque background).

The arches display wooden tie beams, which still show their original carving.

Similar carving can also be seen on the wooden tabliyyas or impost blocks between the arches and the column capitals.

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