Saturday, June 25, 2011

[kl-bogel] Cairo: Islamic quarter of the city

Islamic Cairo is much more difficult part is given by perception than the Coptic . If you do not understand in advance what-where-why and how, it will be able to see a little. I still feel that in the Islamic part of Cairo, and I did not see the half, and I realized - even less. In addition, in the Islamic Cairo is very easy to get lost: there are a couple of main streets, where the main mosque in the city, a little away from them - and you have to wander through small winding streets that leads to dead ends. If you look at this part of town from the top, you probably will feel that this is a big ant hill.

One of the key places in the Muslim part of town - the area of ​​Salah al-Din. This place is sometimes referred to as the face of the Islamic quarter of the city. Perhaps that is not in vain: on the square are the two largest and very beautiful mosque of Cairo - Mosque of Hassan and the Mosque of al-Rifai. The most successful species on these two mosques was called by the Cairo citadel:



Hassan Mosque and the Mosque of al-Rifai are quite a prestigious place in the city - right next to the foot of the citadel. Hassan mosque as much as six hundred years older than his "neighbor" of al-Rifai, built a hundred years ago. Meanwhile, near the two mosques look so harmonious that the present one without the other already and does not work.

Mosque of Hassan:



If you look closely, you will notice that the mosque of al-Rifai, a little more modern and slightly more elegant. But Hassan mosque is much older: it is built of stones taken from the pyramids at Giza. Doubtful, of course, a reason for pride, but that's in the Middle Ages in Cairo was opened - to build a mosque of stone from the pyramids.

Mosque of al-Rifai:





Another key place in the Islamic part of town - the area of ​​Saddam Hussein. This is the largest and most important area of ​​Islamic cities. When I got there, the area was cordoned off completely:





From different sides of the square were whole sections of the police:



A few days earlier, right on the square in the heart of Islamic Cairo, an explosion, and he thundered in one of the many tourist cafe, located right near the main mosque in the country.



Area Hussein - in general rather contradictory position: it would face as a tourist and religious Cairo. In most countries the main mosque - a mosque Hussein - no entry to non-Muslims, but the tables of local cafes are located so that if you want you can easily see what is going on inside.



And in one, and the other side of the square Endless streets of the main tourist market of the city - Khan Al-Khalil. I do not think that such proximity to the tourist markets and tourist cafes should please the faithful.



The mosque is considered one of Hussein's main shrines of Islamic Cairo. According to legend, there is stored head Hussein, who was the grandson of the Prophet. Stored if there anything really, and stored if it is something altogether somewhere - of course nobody knows exactly. But in Cairo, decided to believe that the head of Cairo, in Damascus say it is in Damascus, and so on. The truth, as usual, it is not clear where.



Entrance to the mosque is forbidden heterodox. They say that if you really want, you can manage to get there, but the risk I would not. In principle, by the entrance so bad seen the interior.









On the other side of the square stands Hussein al-Azhar mosque, one of the oldest mosques in Cairo. Many people believe that Al-Azhar University - the main character is a fundamentalist Egypt, and along the center of radical Islam. Of course, Al-Azhar University - one of the main mosques in the city:



When the Al-Azhar Islamic university is famous, famous not only in Egypt but also outside it. This university is considered one of the most famous and oldest universities in the country.



In contrast to the mosque, Hussein al-Azhar in tourists allowed. There is surprisingly quiet and peacefully:





Even more beautiful and peaceful place - this is the mosque of Ibn Tulun,. It is the oldest surviving mosque in Cairo, and yes, it seems, only Egypt - 7th century. About mosque walks a lot of beautiful legends: not that it stands on the very spot where Abraham was about to sacrifice his son, not that where once stood Noah's Ark ...







In the small streets of the Muslim Quarter is very easy to get lost. Here, even the card does not help: it helps only a reference to the main mosque and a rough understanding of where the main street. But if you get lost, you will be able to feel the immensity of yourself these neighborhoods:











Show another small mosque, hidden in the narrow streets of Islamic Cairo. This seems to be something like the Blue Mosque local, but the title I'm not completely sure.







The most interesting thing in this quarter - is to climb the minaret of a mosque and see what it looks like this quarter on top. I climb up on a couple of different minarets of mosques and concluded that, depending on the angle the picture is seriously changing.





Typical types of Islamic quarter:







In the distance rises the citadel, deserves a separate story:



On the roofs there really hell is happening:



You also saw a goat on the roof?





The central streets were visibly cleaner, but less picturesque and:







But this is, in my opinion - the most typical form of Islamic Cairo. Perhaps it had to make the title picture, but oh well:

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