The photos below are from some of the sites we visited. The architecture is absolutely stunning. Not only are the designs and materials used breathtakingly beautiful, the buildings are designed to meet their function perfectly. There are study areas in mosques designed to be cool and well lit even during the hottest summer day, and the buildings are designed to echo sound so that the athan can be heard beautifully from any corner without any amplification. Click here for some background on each of the historical masajid.
Masjid Amr ibn al As (the conquerer of Egypt)- the first mosque in Egypt built in 642 CE. The above photo is for the wudu` area in the middle of the mosque. Before restoration, this area was reserved for Zakat collection.
The door says "Maliki school". There are three other classrooms with the name of the three other Imams of the major Islamic schools of thought. Students of this school would study all the four school of fiqh before graduating.
Masjid ar-Rifai finished early last century. This mosque has inside it the graves of the royal family. It is right next to masjid as-Sultan Hassan, and was designed to reflect similar architecture.
In the area called "Old Cairo" are several historical churches and a Jewish temple. Unfortunately, no pictures are allowed in most of them. The photo below is a figure showing the areas Mary and prophet Issa, peace be upon them, are believed to have visited during their trip to Egypt. The churches and temple were built during the Islamic era (Amr ibn al-As donated land areas to priests for religious buildings), since religious minorities were discriminated against during Roman and Bizantine times.
Inside the "Hanging Church" - named due to the fact that it was constructed over the Roman wall protecting Cairo.
The mosque from the inside. This gem is tucked away in a busy area next to al-Azhar and is still packed with worshippers during prayers (as are many of the other historic mosques).
I was surprised to see a shape resembling the star of david in many mosques.
Next to the mosque is a small rennovated building used for cultural shows such as the Whirling Dervish. The show is free but you have to arrive early to find a seat. It was interesting but more cultural than spiritual.