Masjid Sinan Basha
Cairo, Egypt

The Mosque of Sinan Pasha was built in 1571 at the port of Bulaq. The mosque consists of a square prayer hall covered entirely by the largest stone dome in Cairo, with domed porticoes on three of its sides. The dome's transitional zone, which is invisible from the exterior, starts inside the walls of the chamber and displays a tripartite system of squinches. It is this feature that gives the interior a late Mamluk character.

The exterior, on the other hand, with its large buttress-supported drum and dome rising above the cupolas of the porticoes along with the pencil-shaped minaret, is unmistakably of an Ottoman mosque, dominating the horizon at this vital port which was Egypt's gateway to Istanbul, and was therefore frequented by international merchants and pilgrimage caravans.


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Behrens-Abouseif, Doris. Egypt's Adjustment to Ottoman Rule: Institutions, Waqf and Architecture in Cairo (16th and 17th Centuries). Leiden: E. J. Brill., 1994.

Hanna, Nelly. An Urban History of Bulaq in the Mamluk and Ottoman Periods. Le Caire : Institut français d'archéologie orientale, 1983.

Jarrar, Sabri, András Riedlmayer, and Jeffrey B. Spurr. Resources for the Study of Islamic Architecture. Cambridge, MA: Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, 1994.

Meinecke, Michael. Die Mamlukische Architektur in Ägypten und Syrien (648/1250 bis 923/1517). Glückstadt: Verlag J. J. Augustin, 1992.

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Swelim, M. Tarek. "An Interpretation of the Mosque of Sinan Pasha in Cairo." Muqarnas 10 (1993): 99-107.

Shari' al-Sinaniyah, Bulaq, Cairo, Egypt
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Associated Names
1571/978-979 AH
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Mosque of Sinan Pasha
Masjid Sinan Pasha
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