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Mosque Sultan Hassan

Winding, dim-lit halls that lie beyond a recessed entrance give birth to a serene courtyard with fantastic arches and sky-piercing walls. An intangible blissfulness penetrates the heart as the stresses of modern day life are decompressed within this incubator of tranquility. Four enormous vaulted halls lined with distinguishing hand-made carpets surround the vast expanse, each dedicated to teaching one of the four main schools of Islam. Right in the heart of the city, this wondrous destination is the Mosque and Madrasa (school) of Sultan Hassan.

Constructed 700 years ago, this 150-meter-long and 36-meter-high mega-project was the brainchild of Sultan Hassan, the son of the great Mamluk Sultan, Al Nasser Mohamed Ibn Qalawoun. Considered one of the world’s largest mosques, it was meant to house around 400 students and act as a spiritual hub within the region. This was accomplished at no expense to quality, as more than a decade of finesse and craftsmanship was required to complete this undertaking.

Hand your shoes over to the “shoe man” and embark on this medieval journey. With two ancient mosques at either side and the Citadel looming at the end of corridor, there’s plenty to see and learn about in this beautiful establishment. Glide through halls filled with chanting worshippers and solace-seeking meditators, and let the echoes of monster-sized dome ceilings confound you. Marble encrusted columns, gold-plated architecture, and painstakingly crafted stalactite formations flanked by lamps and chandeliers leave one in a state of mystical enthrallment. A guide is a must if you are to truly absorb the mosque’s spectacular history. Being at the epicenter of Cairo means your within range of so much, from the famous Khan el Khalili to the Egyptian Museum, so get up early and hit the town because there’s a lot for you to discover.