Sultan Hassan Mosque
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Architect unknown
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Location Cairo, Egypt   map
Date 1356 to 1363   timeline
Building Type temple
 Construction System bearing masonry
Climate desert
Context urban
Style Islamic
Notes "Regular forms within an irregular composition" -Ching


Photo, interior

Photo, exterior


Plan Drawing

Section Drawing

Section Drawing

Discussion Sultan Hassan Mosque Commentary

"The Medresa of Sultan Hassan at a collegiate mosque, cruciform in plan. Four iwans, or recessed porches, with immense pointed arches, constitute the arms of the cross. There is a minimum of decoration, and the walls of the 100-ft sahn rise skywards with splendid architectural effect. The founder's domed mausoleum, situated behind the qibla, is enriched with stalactite decoration."

— John Julius Norwich, ed. Great Architecture of the World. p133.

" has survived largely intact, though its dome, ablutions fountain, and minaret have been reconstructed and its main doors taken elsewhere. An immense portal with an elaborate muqarnas-headed opening gives access to a majestic, domed entrance hall from which a tortuous approach leads obliquely into the central court...The tomb of the founder stands on the axis of the building, behind the mihrab, and in the centre of he court an elaborate domed fountain with wide eaves suggests the hand of the Syrians and other northern artisan who were brought in at this time."

— Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture. p570.

Sources on Sultan Hassan Mosque

Francis D. K. Ching. Architecture: Form, Space, and Order. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1979. ISBN 0-442-21535-5. LC 79-18045. NA2760.C46. plan, p63. — A nice graphic introduction to architectural ideas. Updated 1996 edition available at

Howard Davis. Slide from photographer's collection. PCD.2260.1012.1537.071. PCD.2260.1012.1537.070. PCD.2260.1012.1537.069

Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture. London: The Butterworth Group, 1987. ISBN 0-408-01587-X. LC 86-31761. NA200.F63 1987. discussion, p570. section drawing, fig d, p566.

John Julius Norwich, ed. Great Architecture of the World. New York: Random House, 1975. ISBN 0-394-49887-9. NA200.G76. discussion, p133. photo of interior, p133. Reprint edition: Da Capo Press, April 1991. ISBN 0-3068-0436-0. — An accessible, inspiring and informative overview of world architecture, with lots of full-color cutaway drawings, and clear explanations. Available at

Henri Stierlin. Comprendre L'Architecture Universelle. Paris: Office du Livre S.A. Fribourg (suisse), 1977. longitudinal section drawing, p364. plan drawing, p364. [DP]

Marvin Trachtenberg and Isabelle Hyman. Architecture, from Prehistory to Post-Modernism. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1986. photo of courtyard, f342, p221.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Sultan Hassan Mosque


Web Resources
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