Old Market and Mosques

    The Old Market – The Khan el Khalili Bazaar

Either fortunately, or unfortunately, it was Coptic Easter and a long weekend so this SUnday, many of the stores were closed for the holiday. In a way it was nice, because it was much less crowded and we were much less bothered, but still got a flavour of th place. However, apparently when it is really busy, it is also something to see. Oh well, it gives us a reason to go back someday.

Some of the market is real market stalls; unfortunately, there are now many stalls that seem to sell junk “made in China” for tourists. In the end, we did not see much that appealed to our fancy – but then, we are not that interested in souvenirs.

Square in front of the old market.

Down the market street

Market stall

More Market stalls

More Market street

More market

Gateway arch

Some parts of the Market were mostly closed for the Coptic Easter and long weekend.

The Egyptians used to worship cats. We saw cats all over the country.

    al Hussein Mosque – جامع سيدنا الحسين

The original mosque was built in 1154; it is believed the head of the Prophet’s grandson Hussein is buried in this mosque. The current building Kellie was segregated with the women, while Maurice and Ahmed went in the men’s side – separate entrances.

Most other mosques were built on the pattern of an covered arcade around an open-air central square; this mosque was unusual in being a large columned hall, no open center. There is a completely separate hall for the women, accessed by a completely separate door. The only place the two halls open into is the ornate masoleum room – separated by a screen, of course.

The main hall of the mosque. The carpet here has a green and gold design, but still has the prayer positions facing toward Mecca.

Prayer niche, on the wall that is facing Mecca.

Cleric’s Platform for preaching. The prayer niche is behind it.

Entrance to masoleum room

The shrine in the masoleum where the Prophet’s grandson is buried.

    The old al Azhar Mosque

This mosque was first built here in 970, and became the centre of a university for the Islamic world.

In this mosque, Kellie got the scarf treatment. Women are allowed to walk around the entire mosque, but she was given a head covering.

The courtyard and a minaret.

Inside the courtyard of the mosque.

Nap time.

The entrance gate.

Balcony above the entrance gate

The balcony on one of the minarets


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