We are now just going through Cairo itself. Cairo is a HUGE city, with 12 million people living there (our book says the average population density is 50,000 people per square kilometer). The traffic was terrible while we were there and we were told it is quite usual. We were extremely happy that we had a driver while we were there.
This is the MOhamed Ali Mosque, and it is the emblem of the "Cairo Governorate". It was named for Mohamed Ali, who was Albanian but born in Greece. He was one of the soldiers sent to Egypt to free Egypt from Napoleon's occupation and in 1805 took over Egypt when the Egyptians revolted against Wali Kourshid. The mosque itself was built in 1830.
The mosque is built in the shape of a square, 41m on each cide, with a 21 meter central dome which rises to 52 meters tall. The walls are adorned with large quantities of white alabaster.
This is the fountain, set in the middle of the courtyard, which is used to wash prior to saying their prayers at the Mosque.
The clock towner is on the western side of the fountain, and is made of copper. The clock was a present from King Louis-Philippe of France to Mohamed Ali Pasha in 1845.
Inside, in the prayer room, is the pulpit (the stairs) and the mihrab (the niche in the wall to the left of the stairs as we look at the picture).
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