CAIRO – 1 June 2021: Historic Cairo is one of the most important and largest heritage cities in the world, as it distinguished by the richness of its urban fabric.
That is in addition to the multiplicity of monuments and historical buildings that express the long history of Cairo as a dominant and pioneering political, cultural, commercial and religious capital in the Middle East and the Mediterranean basin.
During recent years, the Egyptian state has been working to develop that area. Among the areas included in the development project is the14-acres area surrounding the Al-Hakim Mosque [Masjid Al-Hakim].
The mosque is located on Al-Muizz Li Din Allah Street adjacent to Bab Al-Futuh. Its construction was ordered by Caliph Al-Aziz Billah, but the construction work did not end in his era.
The construction was completed by his son, Caliph Al-Hakim Bi Amr Allah, in the year 403 AH / 1013AD. The mosque is rectangular in shape and consists of an open central plate. The qibla portico includes five rows of tapered arches carried on rectangular pillars running parallel to the qibla wall.
This portico is cut in the middle by a high alley that extends from the courtyard to the mihrab and ends in front of the mihrab with a dome.
At the ends of the north-eastern and southeastern mihrab slabs, two domes, each on four corner arches are located between four arched windows.
The neck of the dome is decorated with eight vaulted windows. The dome's square is decorated with a lush Kufic script. The façades of the saucer are surmounted by a row of pyramidal, graduated fringes.
The mosque is distinguished by having thirteen entrances; five on the western façade, three on the northern façade, and the same on the southern façade, in addition to two entrances to the qibla wall.
Among them, we find three distinct entrances in the middle of the northern, southern and western façades. The most important one is the main entrance in the middle of the western facade, as it is the oldest prominent entrance in Egypt's Islamic architecture.
It consists of two huge polished stone towers, and in the center is a long corridor surmounted by a semi-cylindrical vault. It leads to the mosque through the western corridor.
The prominent entrance in the northern and southern corners is flanked by two huge minarets that were built in AH 393 / AD 1003.
The mosque has witnessed many reforms and additions, perhaps the first of which is what Badr al-Jamali, Minister of Caliph Al-Mustansir, did to renew the northern walls of Cairo in the year 480. Thus, the mosque became inside those walls.
In the year 702 AH, Egypt was subjected to an earthquake, and the Al-Hakim Mosque was destroyed.
Sultan Al-Nasir Mohammad al-Amir Rukn al-Din Baybars al-Jashinkir renovated the mosque, made a bookcase and dug a cistern in the mosque's courtyard.
The mosque was renewed again in the days of Sultan Al-Nasir Hassan in 760 AH.