Sultan Hassan Mosque Overview

The Sultan Hassan Mosque is an excellent example of the architectural brilliance of the Mamluk rule in Egypt. It is located near the Citadel in Cairo and can be easily spotted by its towering minarets and vast courtyard. Built in the mid-14th century, this mosque and madrassa complex is known for its grandeur and intricate details. Its walls whisper stories of history, culture, and religion, making it a top spot to appreciate the rich heritage of Cairo.

Nestled in the heart of Cairo, the Sultan Hassan Mosque stands as a magnificent testament to medieval Islamic architecture. It was built between 1356 and 1363, by Mamluk Sultan Hassan. This grand structure also serves as a Madrasa, showcasing the rich educational traditions of the era in Cairo. Located near the Citadel, its strategic position highlights its historical importance. It also sheds light on the mosque's role as a centre of spirituality and education. 

The mosque features an expansive courtyard, towering minarets, and intricate calligraphy that adorns its walls. The mosque also houses four Iwans, each dedicated to one of the major Sunni Islamic schools of thought. This sheds light on the mosque's role as a centre of learning and religious study. Although he was never buried here, you can still find the mausoleum of Sultan Hassan in the mosque, which adds to its mystique.

As you explore this mosque, you will be transported into a world of ancient wisdom and architectural beauty. It is a must-visit landmark for those seeking to understand Cairo's rich Islamic heritage and its influence on global culture.

Location: El-Darb El-Ahmar, El-Khalifa, Cairo Governorate

Timings: 9 am to 5 pm 

Price: 80 Egyptian pounds per adult


• Explore the Sultan Hassan Mosque's grand entrance, a massive gateway that makes one feel like stepping into the pages of history.
• Discover the four Iwans (niches), each adorned with intricate calligraphy that tells age-old stories.
• Feel the cool marble beneath your feet in the expansive courtyard, which has a beautiful fountain where worshippers wash their hands and feet before praying.
• Marvel at the towering minarets, with a height of 84 metres above street level, acting as symbols of Cairo's rich Islamic heritage.
• Visit the mausoleum, which boasts of architecture from Sultan Hassan's era, and displays a blend of devotion and artistic brilliance.

How To Reach

By Road: The mosque is located 3.2 kilometres from Cairo City Centre (Tahrir Square). From here, head north on Al Kasr Al Aini street towards El Tahrir St. Continue on Ali Basha Road towards Salah El-Deen Square, which leads directly to the mosque. The distance from the city centre to the mosque is 3.2 kilometres, which will take around 15 to 20 minutes.

By Metro: The Cairo Metro offers an efficient and cost-effective way to reach the Sultan Hassan Mosque. The nearest metro station is "Al Sayeda Zeinab" on Line 1 (the Red Line). This station is 1.8 kilometres, or 5 minutes away from the mosque. The total travel time from the city centre to the mosque, including the walk from the metro station, is around 30 minutes.

By Bus: Bus services in Cairo are extensive, and several lines pass near the Sultan Hassan Mosque. Starting from Tahrir Square, you can take any bus heading toward Salah Salem Street. This journey can take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes. One of the convenient bus stops to get down is the Al Soltan Hassan Mosque stop. It is just 110 metres from the mosque. From there, it takes just 1 minute to get to the mosque.

Best Time To Visit

The Sultan Hassan Mosque is open to visitors year-round, offering a unique glimpse into the magnificent architectural and historical wonders of the s

Best Day: Opt to visit the mosque during the week from Monday to Thursday. It is better to avoid Fridays as this is when the mosque attracts worshippers for the holy day, limiting access to certain areas.

Best Time of the Day: The mosque remains open from 09:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m. every day. It is best to come here during the morning. If you plan to visit during the prayer times around midday, it is best to be mindful of the worshippers.

Other Essential Information

Tips to visit Sultan Hassan Mosque

1. Ensure to cover your shoulders, head, and knees to show respect inside the mosque.

2. Women must wear a headscarf, along with long skirts or pants, when visiting the mosque.

3. For a quieter experience, aim to visit on weekdays.

4. Keep personal items secure and be vigilant in crowded areas.

5. Avoid the use of flash photography, and do not take photos of worshippers.

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Point of Interest for Sultan Hassan Mosque
Discover the Grandeur of the Entrance Portal

Discover the Grandeur of the Entrance Portal

Step through the magnificent entrance of the Sultan Hassan Mosque, a gateway that not only welcomes you but also transports you back in time. It is a marvel of the Mamluk-era architecture, offering a short glimpse into the incredible beauty that the mosque is known for. The portal can be distinguished by its vast size and richly detailed stonework that showcases the artistry of 14th-century craftsmen. Inscriptions, Islamic calligraphy, and geometric carvings decorate its surface, narrating stories of devotion and beliefs. This entrance also serves as an introduction to the mosque's historical and architectural marvels.

Embrace Serenity in the Central Courtyard

Embrace Serenity in the Central Courtyard

The mosque's heart lies in its vast courtyard, which is the perfect place for some peace and quiet amidst the bustling streets of Cairo. Here, you can find the original ablutions fountain, where worshippers used to wash their hands, feet, and face before praying. Although it is ornamental today, it remains a symbol of purity and preparation for prayer. The courtyard's lofty arches and sky-high minarets display the harmony between open spaces and architectural grandeur. You can also find a moment of peace here and witness the rays of the sun cast their glow on the intricate mosaic floors.

Marvel at the Iiwans' Majesty

Marvel at the Iiwans' Majesty

The mosque's four Iiwans, or vaulted chambers, serve as grand gateways to the spiritual and intellectual world of Islam. Each of these Iiwans is dedicated to one of the four Sunni madhhabs, including Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i, and Hanbali. The Iiwan dedicated to the Hanafi school is the largest, which also signifies its prominence during the mosque's inception. These Iiwans used to serve as centres of religious education and debate in the Mamluk era. Here, you can also see the walls decorated with Quranic inscriptions and intricate latticework that offer a mesmerising sight to witness.

Explore the Educational Legacy at the Madrasas

Explore the Educational Legacy at the Madrasas

Dive into the rich intellectual heritage of the mosque by visiting the corners of the courtyard, where the doorways lead to ancient madrasas. These were once bustling centres of learning where students learned about religious and philosophical concepts. These madrasas were among Cairo's most esteemed centres of education, attracting scholars and students from across the Islamic world. Wander through the rooms that housed scholars and imagine the lively discussions and knowledge exchange that took place here.

Reflect on the Mausoleum

Reflect on the Mausoleum

Conclude your visit with a moment of quiet at the mausoleum intended for Sultan Hassan himself. Although the sultan never found his final resting place here, the mausoleum stands as a testament to his vision. Its dome is one of the mosque's most visually striking features and is a masterpiece of Islamic art. It showcases the intricate interplay of light and shadow through its lattice windows. The cenotaph, though empty, stands as a symbol of the Sultan’s legacy and the short-lived nature of life and power.

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