Mosque el-Azhar. CAIRO. 3. Route. 285
A fine effect, especially by evening light, is produced by the domes
and the peculiar colouring of the valley and the opposite heights
of the Mokattam. This mound of rubbish should indeed be fre¬
quently visited (comp. p. 280). To the W. are the city, the plain
of the Nile, and thePyramids. The red building to the N.E. is the
'Abbasiyeh (p. 318), to the left of which is a mosque (Gam'a el-
'Adil). In front of the latter is the N.E. group of the Tombs of the
Khalifs (p. 280), a little to the right of which are the two minarets
of Sultan Barkuk (p. 280). Beyond these rises the Gebel el-Ahmar
(p. 323), adjoining which are the Mokattam hills, with the other
Tombs of the Khalifs at their base.
Mosques of El-Azhar and Hasanen.
Permission to visit these mosques, which are on opposite sides
of the Rue Neuve, nearly in the middle of the street, must be ob¬
tained from the police (p. 239), and the traveller must be accom¬
panied by a kawwas from the consulate. Fee to the kawwas 3-5 fr.,
according to the number of the party, and to the attendant in the
mosque somewhat less.
The Gam'a el-Azhar (PI. 38) presents few features of archi¬
tectural interest, and is so shut in by houses that very little of the
exterior is visible. The plan of the principal part was originally
the same as that of the 'Amr Mosque (p. 309), but the numerous
additions made at various periods have somewhat modified its form,
and in consequence of the conversion of the mosque into a uni¬
versity the aisles have been separated from the court by walls and
railings. The first great alterations took place in the year 1004 of
the Hegira, in the reign of Mohammed ibn Murad, the next were
made by Shekh Isma'il Bey in 1131 of the Hegira, and the last by
Sa'id Pasha about 1848, all exhibiting the decline of Arabian ar¬
The Minarets (PI. 12), some of which are brightly painted,
were erected at different periods, one of them having been built
by 'Abder Rahman Kikhya (p. 289).
The mosque has six gates : the Bab el-Muzeyinln (PL a), or
Gate of the Barbers (see below), on the W. side, forming the prin¬
cipal entrance, and possessing an interesting portal; the Bab Go-
hariyeh (PL b), on the N. side; the Bdb esh-Shurba (PL c), or Soup
Gate, on the E.; the Bdb es-Su'ldlyeh, or Gate of the Upper Egyp¬
tians ; the Bdb esh-Shawwdm (PL e), or Syrian Gate; and the Bdb
el-Maghdrbeh (PL f), or Gate of the W. Africans, the three last
being on the S. side.
The mosque was converted into a University (now the most
important in Mohammedan territory) by Khalif'Aziz Billah (A.D.
975-96), at the sugge3tion of his vizier Abul Farag Ya'kub, in
the year 378 of the Hegira, and the establishment is attended by
students from almost all the countries professing El-Islam.