The Magnificent Ibn Tulun Mosque in Cairo: A Testament to Islamic Architecture and History

Discover the beauty and history of the Ibn Tulun Mosque in Cairo. This magnificent Islamic architectural masterpiece showcases intricate designs, stunning minarets, and a rich cultural heritage. Learn about its fascinating history and explore its awe-inspiring features in person or through virtual tours.


The Ibn Tulun Mosque, located in the heart of Cairo, Egypt, is one of the oldest and most significant mosques in the country. Its architectural beauty and historical importance make it a cherished landmark for locals and a must-visit destination for tourists. In this blog post, we will explore the facts, history, and frequently asked questions about the Ibn Tulun Mosque in Cairo.

Facts about the Ibn Tulun Mosque:

1. Unique Design:

Built in the 9th century, the Ibn Tulun Mosque is known for its distinctive architectural style, which blends elements of Abbasid, Fatimid, and Persian influences. Its elegant simplicity and vast courtyard set it apart from other mosques in the region.

2. Size and Structure:

The mosque occupies an area of approximately 6,516 square meters (70,200 square feet) and boasts a square-shaped minaret that stands at a height of around 33 meters (108 feet). Its spacious courtyard can accommodate large congregations during prayer times.

3. Historical Significance:

The Ibn Tulun Mosque is named after its founder, Ahmad ibn Tulun, who was the governor of Egypt during the Tulunid dynasty. It holds great historical importance as one of the few remaining structures from that period.

4. Preservation:

The mosque has undergone several restoration and preservation efforts over the centuries to maintain its original charm and architectural integrity. It serves as a testament to the enduring legacy of Islamic architecture in Cairo.

History of the Ibn Tulun Mosque:

1. Construction:

The mosque was built between 876 and 879 CE, during the reign of Ahmad ibn Tulun. It was designed by a talented Iraqi architect named Muhammad Ibn Katib al-Farghani, and its construction marked a significant milestone in Egyptian architectural history.

2. Purpose and Function:

The Ibn Tulun Mosque was initially constructed as a congregational mosque to serve the religious needs of the local community. It also served as a center for educational and cultural activities, hosting lectures, Quranic recitations, and religious festivals.

3. Architectural Influence:

The mosque’s design reflects the architectural styles of the Abbasid and Fatimid periods. Its simplicity and emphasis on geometric patterns and symmetry showcase the artistic and mathematical achievements of the Islamic world during that era.

4. Restoration Efforts:

The mosque underwent extensive restoration projects in the 19th and 20th centuries. These efforts aimed to preserve its historical significance and maintain its structural stability for future generations to appreciate.


The Ibn Tulun Mosque stands as a remarkable testament to the rich history and architectural brilliance of Islamic civilization in Cairo. Its unique design, historical significance, and cultural importance make it an essential destination for those seeking to explore the heritage of Egypt’s diverse architectural traditions. A visit to this magnificent mosque offers an opportunity to appreciate the craftsmanship and spirituality that have shaped the Islamic world throughout the centuries.

Location on Maps

Frequently Asked Questions about the Ibn Tulun Mosque:

What is the Ibn Tulun Mosque?

The Ibn Tulun Mosque is one of the oldest and largest mosques in Cairo, Egypt. It was built in the 9th century during the Abbasid period and is renowned for its architectural beauty and historical significance.

Who built the Ibn Tulun Mosque?

The mosque was commissioned by Ahmad Ibn Tulun, the founder of the Tulunid dynasty, who ruled Egypt in the 9th century.

What are the notable features of the mosque?

The mosque’s most notable features include its large courtyard, which is surrounded by arched porticos and adorned with ornate stucco decorations. The spiral minaret, one of the mosque’s defining features, offers panoramic views of Cairo. The mosque also houses a beautiful sabil (water fountain) and a well-preserved wooden minbar (pulpit).

What is the architectural style of the mosque?

The architectural style of the Ibn Tulun Mosque is predominantly Abbasid, with influences from ancient Egyptian, Roman, and Islamic architectural traditions. It is characterized by its massive courtyard, unique spiral minaret, and intricate decorative elements.

Are there any entrance fees for visiting the mosque?

Yes, there is an entrance fee for visiting the Ibn Tulun Mosque. The fee is usually nominal and is used for the maintenance and preservation of the mosque.

Is the mosque open to visitors?

Yes, the Ibn Tulun Mosque is open to visitors, both Muslims and non-Muslims. It welcomes tourists who wish to explore its architectural beauty and learn about its historical significance.

Are there any dress code requirements?

Visitors are expected to dress modestly when visiting the mosque. Both men and women should cover their shoulders and knees. Scarves may be provided at the entrance for those who need them.

Can non-Muslims enter the prayer hall?

Non-Muslims are generally not allowed inside the prayer hall but can still admire its beauty from outside. The courtyard and other areas of the mosque are accessible to all visitors.

What are the visiting hours?

The mosque is open daily from morning until late afternoon. It is advisable to check the official website or contact the mosque for the most up-to-date information on visiting hours.

Are there any guided tours available?

Yes, guided tours are available at the Ibn Tulun Mosque, providing visitors with in-depth knowledge about the mosque’s history, architecture, and cultural significance. These tours can enhance your understanding and appreciation of the site.

Attractions in Cairo, Egypt

Download Our Free Guidebook

Get to the heart of Egypt with one of our in-depth guidebooks, covering maps, itineraries, and expert guidance.

Leave a Reply

Proceed Booking

× Let's Talk