Masjid Mahmud al-Kurdi
Cairo, Egypt
Mahmud al-Kurdi was the ustadar, or majordomo, of Sultan Barquq and built this mosque in 1393/795 AH before falling out of favor with the sultan. The building sits on the left as one exits the bazaar. The facade has a high-level inscription band and a trilobed portal. Windows have decorated wooden frames and fine bronze grilles., and the doors have their original metal decoration. The mosque is notable for its dome, which has one of the earliest uses of a horizonatal chevron pattern, rather than reproducing and the brick and plaster ribbing of earlier fourteenth-century stone domes. This decoration style would eventually supersede the earlier style. The dome sits on a drum with eight windows. The minaret is located above the portal and has a rounded form unusual for this period and that would later be seen on Ottoman monuments.

Inside there is a long room with two iwans raised one step above the central area, and three wooden covered windows on the side walls. The interior resembles the qa'a of a house and it possible that the building is a house converted to a mosque, as there are several instances of that happening in Cairo.

Restorations by the Supreme Council of Antiquities were begun in 1979 and completed in 2004. The minaret has been plastered white.


Seton-Williams, M. J., and Peter Stocks. Egypt, 319. London: A & C Black, 1988.

Warner, Nicholas. The monuments of historic Cairo: a map and descriptive catalogue, 117. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2005.

Williams, Caroline. Islamic monuments in Cairo : the practical guide, 107-108. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2008.
Cairo, Egypt
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Associated Names
1395/797-98 AH
Style Periods
Variant Names
Mahmud al-Kurdi Mosque
Jami' Mahmud al-Kurdi
Building Usages