Jami' al-Iskandariyya
Zabid, Yemen
The Mosque of al-Iskandariyya is located at the easternmost section of the old city of Zabid. It was incorporated into the city's fortifications at one point, and is located between two towers of the citadel. For this reason, the Mosque of al-Iskandariyya is also known as the Citadel Mosque. Its minaret rises to sixty meters. A section of its base is incorporated into a citadel tower.

It has been suggested that the Mosque of al-Iskandariyya reflects the style of the Rasulid period and that it dates to the fourteenth century, although the exact date is uncertain. An inscribed panel flanking the mihrab shows that Ottoman general Alexander (Iskandar) Ramos established a religious school at the mosque in 1533, which indicates that the mosque was already extant at this time. The inscription explains that the teaching was financed with revenue from irrigated agricultural lands in the Zabid hinterland, pointing to the central role of agriculture in the local economy. Egyptian and Ottoman decorative details on the mosque and the citadel indicate that they were renovated up until the nineteenth century. The mosque is constructed in brick with a whitewash stucco finish, characteristic of many other important civic and religious buildings in Zabid.

Since 1997, the al-Iskandariyya Mosque has been the subject of a citywide restoration project by the Royal Ontario Museum.


American Institute for Yemeni Studies. "The Zabid Project." Accessed May 30, 2004; inaccessible October 18, 2013. http://www.aiys.org/projects/zabid.html.

Costa, Paolo and Ennio Vicario. Arabia Felix, land of builders, 112-119. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 1977.

Finster, Barbara. "An Outline of the History of Islamic Religious Architecture in Yemen." In Muqarnas IX: An Annual on Islamic Art and Architecture, edited by Ann Oleg Grabar. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1992.

Hämäläinen, Pertti, and Françoise Fauchet. Yémen: guide de voyage, 134. Paris: Lonely planet publications, 1988.

UNESCO World Heritage. "Historic Town of Zabid." Accessed February 14, 2007. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/611.

Wald, Peter. Yemen, translated by Sebastian Wormell, 135. London: Pallas Athene, 1996.
Zabid, Yemen
Images & Videos
Associated Names
14th c./8th c. AH; expanded 1533/939-940 AH
Style Periods
Variant Names
Mosque of al-Iskandariyya
Jami' al-Iskandariyah
Building Usages