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Denis Baly

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"Inside the mosque one is immediately struck by its vastness: it covers six and a half acres. This was the main congregational mosque of al-Qata’i‘, the mosque in which the whole congregation joined together for the Friday noon prayer. The original courtyard could have been used, if needed, as a spillover space for prayer. The arcades around the courtyard, which are deeper on the qibla side, are formed by arches on brick piers and are roofed with palm logs boxed in by wooden panels. Rosettes and windows form a continuous and simple decoration. The arches are pointed— two hundred years before similar arches made their appearance in Europe— and spring from oblong supports rounded at the corners by pilasters, or engaged columns" (51-52). (Source: Williams, Caroline. Islamic Monuments in Cairo: The Practical Guide. The American University in Cairo, 2002.)


Cairo, Egypt



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