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Al Hakim Bi Amr Allah Mosque ( 990 A.D./ 380.A.H )

The al-Hakim Mosque is a major Islamic religious site in Cairo, Egypt. It is located in "Islamic Cairo", on the east side of Muizz Street, just south of Bab Al-Futuh (the northern gate). It is named after Al-Hakim Bi Amr Allah (985-1021), the sixth Fatimid caliph and the first to be born in Egypt. It was ordered to built by the Caliph Al- Aziz billah in 990 A.D./ 380.A.H. & completed by his son Al Hakim, upon the construction the mosque was located outside Bab – El Futuh, later it located inside after the expansion performed by Amir El Guyush Badr – al – Gamali to the walls of Cairo. The mosque was built to accommodate the increasing number of muslim inhabitants in the new capital. The most important achievements made by prince Baybars al gashinker  was the repairs made to the cracked walls of the mosque & the addition of new endings to the two minarets whose heads were destroyed after the earthquake of 702 A.H. / 1302 A.D.

The mosque has an almost square shape with internal dimensions of 120,00 x 130 m with a center open courtyard surrounded by four covered area the largest & widest is the qibla wall to which five parallel arcades are separated by an intersecting aisle to the direction of the riwaqs & in the middle of the covered area, on axis with the intersecting aisle with a mehrab in between.

The north east & south west covered areas each consists of three arcades perpendicular to the qibla wall, the north west covered area consists of two arcades running parallel to the qibla wall separated by intersecting aisle to the direction of the riwaqs & extending along the first aisle, the arcades consists of rectangular piers, the corners of which are formed by three quarters of a column ascending to pointed arches , the piers have been set parallel to the walls of the covered areas surrounding the yard. The first riwaq parallel to the qibla has three domes, two at the corners of the riwaq & the third covering the square area in front of the mihrab. On the two corners of the northwest façade are two minarets consists of square bas toped by square shaft transformed into an octagonal shaft in the upper part. The main entrance lies in the middle of the northwest façade, & in the shape of two projecting towers with a passage in between covered by pointed vault leading directly to the courtyard.

From the analysis of the plan we found that the courtyard occupies a large area of the mosque more than one third of the total area which is a high percentage particular to the Fatimid mosques. The courtyard contributes in providing a great deal of nature lighting & ventilation into the covered areas. It worth mentioning here that the treatment of the main entrance by placing them on a large rectangular niche with a pointed arch & the protrusion of the entrance block on the facades alignment was applied for the first time in Egypt on this mosque, influenced by the Mahdiya mosque in Tunisia.