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Ibn Tulun Mosque ( 876 AD – 879 AD / 263 A.H. – 265 A.H. )

The  mosque that he had built over a period of three years ( 876 AD – 879 AD ) of mud brick became the focal point of the Tulunid capital that lasted only 26 years. It was the third congregational mosque to be built in Egypt.

Analyzing the plan of the mosque we find that the plan was rectangular in shape but almost became square after the additions were made. It’s dimensions were 162m X 162m & the ratio of the courtyard area to the area of the mosque without the additions is almost 1:2 & the ratio after counting the addition is 1:3 while the ratio of the width of the qibla covered area to it’s length is 1:3.6 which is nearly the same ratio in the praying area in the Umayyad mosque.

Ibn Tulun mosque reflects all the characteristic features of Abbasid art within the realm of architecture, and was obviously influenced, particularly with regards to the minaret, the great rectangular piers with engaged corner columns, the decorative motif and other features by the famous Samarra mosque in present day Iraq. The original arctic is a rectangular shape with 138 m. length & 118 m. width & the high of the wall 13 m. with an opening square courtyard with a dimension of 92 square meters in size, surrounded by four covered areas, the largest of which is the qibla’s.

The qibla covered area is made up of five arcades with five riwaqs in-between , parallel to qibla wall, each arcade consists of fifteen rectangular piers with columns formed on its corners. The piers hold 17 pointed arches on which appear the remains of ornaments similar to the second & the third samara decorations, covered by a wooden ceiling. Pointed arched openings are arranged in the arc waist, topped by a decorated stucco frieze & topped by a wooden frieze with quranic inscriptions engraved.

The two side wings consists of two arcades & their arches run perpendicular to the qibla wall. All the covered areas overlook the yard with facades each composed of 13 pointed arches mounted on 14 piers.