Footsteps outside the Mosque of Ibn Tulun - this door is located between the external wall and the main courtyard of the mosque

Footsteps outside the Mosque of Ibn Tulun - this door is located between the external wall and the main courtyard of the mosque

Looking at the entrance door from another angle - in the background, the minaret of the Mosque and Madrassa of al-Amir Sarghatmish can be seen

Looking at the entrance door from another angle - in the background, the minaret of the Mosque and Madrassa of al-Amir Sarghatmish can be seen

A view of the double doors of the mosque seen from outside - this mosque was commissioned by Ibn Tulun (the Abbassid governor of Egypt) in 876 and it was completed in 879

A view of the double doors of the mosque seen from outside - this mosque was commissioned by Ibn Tulun (the Abbassid governor of Egypt) in 876 and it was completed in 879

Decorative details of one of the external walls of the mosque - this mosque was built about two kilometers from the old community of Fustat on a hill called Gebel Yashkur

Decorative details of one of the external walls of the mosque - this mosque was built about two kilometers from the old community of Fustat on a hill called Gebel Yashkur

The mosque is surrounded by an enclosure that measures 118 x 138 meters - this mosque was the main focal point of the Tulunid dynasty which last only 26 years

The mosque is surrounded by an enclosure that measures 118 x 138 meters - this mosque was the main focal point of the Tulunid dynasty which last only 26 years

Courtyard of the Ibn Tulun Mosque seen through an arch of the prayer hall

Courtyard of the Ibn Tulun Mosque seen through an arch of the prayer hall

Interior of the prayer hall - a palace was constructed next to the mosque by Ibn Tulun in it's newly found capital called Al-Qattai which was destroyed later on

Interior of the prayer hall - a palace was constructed next to the mosque by Ibn Tulun in it's newly found capital called Al-Qattai which was destroyed later on

This mosque is approximately 26,318 square meters in size and it is the oldest surviving mosque in Cairo and some of the original structure dates back to the 9th century

This mosque is approximately 26,318 square meters in size and it is the oldest surviving mosque in Cairo and some of the original structure dates back to the 9th century

A lamp hanging from the ceiling of the prayer hall - in the past this mosque was used as a shelter for pilgrims from North Africa to the Hejaz (modern day Saudi Arabia)

A lamp hanging from the ceiling of the prayer hall - in the past this mosque was used as a shelter for pilgrims from North Africa to the Hejaz (modern day Saudi Arabia)

Minaret of Ibn Tulun Mosque seen from the prayer hall - this beautiful minaret is designed similar to the one of the Great Mosque of Samarra in Iraq

Minaret of Ibn Tulun Mosque seen from the prayer hall - this beautiful minaret is designed similar to the one of the Great Mosque of Samarra in Iraq

This mosque has a very simple layout plan, square halls are built around a central courtyard

This mosque has a very simple layout plan, square halls are built around a central courtyard

There are 13 arches on each side of the courtyard. Though the columns are of brick, decorative capitals and bases were modeled from wet plaster

There are 13 arches on each side of the courtyard. Though the columns are of brick, decorative capitals and bases were modeled from wet plaster

The central fountain is located on the left and the minaret of the mosque is towering above the arches

The central fountain is located on the left and the minaret of the mosque is towering above the arches

These arches are on the taller side in order to allow more light and fresh air in the mosque

These arches are on the taller side in order to allow more light and fresh air in the mosque

Dikka and Mihrab of the Ibn Tulun Mosque

Dikka and Mihrab of the Ibn Tulun Mosque

Mehrab of the mosque - this mehrab is one of the oldest structures in the mosque

Mehrab of the mosque - this mehrab is one of the oldest structures in the mosque

A closeup view of the upper part of the mehrab - at the top of the inner columns is a basket while the outer columns are decorated with the branches of grapes

A closeup view of the upper part of the mehrab - at the top of the inner columns is a basket while the outer columns are decorated with the branches of grapes

Here Kalma Shaadat is written in arabic and it is associated with the Shia Fatimids rulers of the Egypt

Here Kalma Shaadat is written in arabic and it is associated with the Shia Fatimids rulers of the Egypt

This wooden roof above the mehrab area of the mosque was restored during the Mamluk period

This wooden roof above the mehrab area of the mosque was restored during the Mamluk period

Upper part of the wooden minbar (pulpit) of the mosque

Upper part of the wooden minbar (pulpit) of the mosque

A side view of the wooden minbar and the tall supporting columns of the mosque

A side view of the wooden minbar and the tall supporting columns of the mosque

One of the doors of the Dar al-Imara, which consists of three rooms connected to the mosque by doors on either side of the mehrab

One of the doors of the Dar al-Imara, which consists of three rooms connected to the mosque by doors on either side of the mehrab

Mosque's original decorations mainly consisted of wood and stucco but later addition changed the style

Mosque's original decorations mainly consisted of wood and stucco but later addition changed the style

A small arch is built between two large arches of the prayer hall, facing the courtyard

A small arch is built between two large arches of the prayer hall, facing the courtyard

The current fountain in the courtyard was added by Sultan Ladjin

The current fountain in the courtyard was added by Sultan Ladjin

A close view of the central fountain (fawara) of the mosque - a small wooden door is on the left is probably to give access to the reservoir

A close view of the central fountain (fawara) of the mosque - a small wooden door is on the left is probably to give access to the reservoir

Central area of the fountain of the mosque - the original fountain was destroyed by fire in 986

Central area of the fountain of the mosque - the original fountain was destroyed by fire in 986

Dome of the fountain seen from inside

Dome of the fountain seen from inside

Courtyard and the meeting point of the two halls of the mosque

Courtyard and the meeting point of the two halls of the mosque

A collection of photographs showing the restoration work being carried out on the mosque

A collection of photographs showing the restoration work being carried out on the mosque

The unique minaret of the mosque rises above the arches

The unique minaret of the mosque rises above the arches

The base of the minaret is from the very original construction of the mosque - the minaret at the top was re-built by the Mamluks

The base of the minaret is from the very original construction of the mosque - the minaret at the top was re-built by the Mamluks

In this photo, three parts of the minaret can be seen - the square bottom (original structure) the cylindrical middle part and more traditional is the upper part of this beautiful minaret

In this photo, three parts of the minaret can be seen - the square bottom (original structure) the cylindrical middle part and more traditional is the upper part of this beautiful minaret

This door leads to the staircase of the minaret - it was locked but keeper opened it for me in return for small baksheesh

This door leads to the staircase of the minaret - it was locked but keeper opened it for me in return for small baksheesh

The external spiraling staircase of this minaret is one of only kind in Cairo

The external spiraling staircase of this minaret is one of only kind in Cairo

Looking downwards at a busy street of cairo from the minaret of the mosque

Looking downwards at a busy street of cairo from the minaret of the mosque

The tower in the foreground belongs to the mosque and madrassa of al-Amir Sarghatmish which is next to the Ibn Tulun Mosque

The tower in the foreground belongs to the mosque and madrassa of al-Amir Sarghatmish which is next to the Ibn Tulun Mosque

The Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha and the walls of the Cairo Citadel can be seen in this photo

The Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha and the walls of the Cairo Citadel can be seen in this photo

The Mosque of Muhammad Ali is built on a hill and it is visible whenever at higher grounds in Cairo

The Mosque of Muhammad Ali is built on a hill and it is visible whenever at higher grounds in Cairo

The Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan and the al-Rifai Mosque are rising above the residential blocks of the city

The Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan and the al-Rifai Mosque are rising above the residential blocks of the city

Zaighum Abbas Ranjha at the Ibn Tulun Mosque Cairo

Zaighum Abbas Ranjha at the Ibn Tulun Mosque Cairo

This photo shows that how big the courtyard of the mosque was - in the distance, Cairo city spreads it's wings

This photo shows that how big the courtyard of the mosque was - in the distance, Cairo city spreads it's wings

In the past, houses were built right next to the walls of the mosque but they were demolished around 1928 by the Committee for the Conservation of Arab Monuments to reveal the true beauty of this mosque

In the past, houses were built right next to the walls of the mosque but they were demolished around 1928 by the Committee for the Conservation of Arab Monuments to reveal the true beauty of this mosque

Two domes and a small courtyard of the Mosque and Madrassa of al-Amir Sarghatmish

Two domes and a small courtyard of the Mosque and Madrassa of al-Amir Sarghatmish

The dome of the Mosque and Madrassa of al-Amir Sarghatmish is a typical Mumluk structure, built in 1356

The dome of the Mosque and Madrassa of al-Amir Sarghatmish is a typical Mumluk structure, built in 1356

When I was coming down from the minaret, I saw these scary looking hornets lurking around their nest

When I was coming down from the minaret, I saw these scary looking hornets lurking around their nest

Andalusian horseshoe arches on the exterior of the minaret

Andalusian horseshoe arches on the exterior of the minaret

The Gayer-Anderson Museum is located between the external and the main walls of the mosque

The Gayer-Anderson Museum is located between the external and the main walls of the mosque

This house is named after the British general R.G. 'John' Gayer-Anderson - this houses has preserved the 17th century Cairo for it's visitors

This house is named after the British general R.G. 'John' Gayer-Anderson - this houses has preserved the 17th century Cairo for it's visitors