Citadel, Islamic Museum and Al Azhar Park – STT111
Today you will visit the Saladin Citadel and the Islamic Museum, two of the icons of Cairo’s Islamic history. You will visit other mosques close by the Citadel. You will also enjoy a walk and lunch in Al Azhar Park, Cairo’s newest and largest green space.
Citadel of Salah al Din
The Saladin Citadel, built on an artificially detached range of the Muqqattam Hills, was constructed with limestone quarried from it and large blocks supplied by the small pyramids at Giza. Saladin, the founder of the Ayyubid Dynasty in Egypt, came to power in 1169 AD as the result of a threatened attack by crusaders, and the Citadel was completed between 1176 and 1182. In the 19th century, during the Turkish period, the Citadel became the residence for the royal family. Muhammad Ali, the Turkish ruler, added a great alabaster mosque, built in the Istanbul style. As well as visiting the mosque and palace, you will enjoy spectacular views across the city from this high point.
Muhammad Ali Mosque (or the Alabaster Mosque)
The Mosque of Mohamed Ali was designed in the Ottoman style of Istanbul and is quite unrelated to the architectural tradition of Cairo. In the courtyard in front of the sanctuary there is a charming Turkish baroque ablution fountain (which makes an excellent photo opportunity). The gingerbread clock was given by Louis Philippe in 1846 as an exchange gift for the obelisk now in the Place de la Concorde, Paris.
Before going to the Museum you’ll take a look a two other historic mosques close by the Citadel.
Museum of Islamic Art
The Museum (once known as the Arabic Museum) is housed in a beautiful building, formerly the main library of Cairo known as Dar el Kutub. It was designed by Alfonso Manescalo, and was completed in 1902 in neo-Mamluk style. This museum houses one of the world’s exceptional collections of rare woodwork and plaster, as well as metal, ceramic, glass, crystal, and textile objects of all periods, from all over the Islamic world and salvaged from crumbling mosques and mausoleums throughout Egypt. Some of the best pieces are located in the central hall.
Al Azhar Park
Lush green landscaped gardens are an enjoyable spot away from city’s major tourist attractions. Located in the heart of old historic Cairo and commanding stunning panoramic views of the world’s most intriguing city, Al-Azhar Park offers every visitor a glimpse into the captivating past. Enjoy a walk and we’ll take a luxury lunch here as well at one of the beautiful restaurants.
Our tour will start at 9.00 am when you leave your accommodation and we’ll have you back safe and sound around 8 hours later. Hotel pick-up may be a little earlier than this but the time will be given to you on reconfirmation.
The tour operates daily at all times of the year.
All transportation by private air-conditioned vehicles
Entrance fees to sites visited
Registered tour guide (who speaks your own language or English) who will assist you in making the most of your tour
Food and drink unless specified
Any activity costs not mentioned in our programme
Things to note:
– Sunscreen, a hat and water are important, even though you will be indoors some of the time. Most of our drivers have cold water on board that you can purchase at a small price.
– To visit the mosques it is advisable to wear clothing that covers the shoulders, upper arms and legs. Your guide will remind you that you must take your shoes off.
– There are souvenir salesmen at many sites, be polite but firm if you are not interested in purchasing. Bazaar owners can also be persistent. Ask your guide for assistance if necessary.
– If required, wheelchair accessibility should be discussed when booking. A vehicle with wheelchair accessibility can be made available.
– Don’t forget your camera – photography is allowed in the mosques and the views over the city from the Citadel and Al Azhar are excellent.
– We’d really like your feedback so please let us know what you think of all aspects of your tour.
1 person – US$135 per person
2 – 4 people – US$95 per person
5 – 8 people – US$73 per person
9 – 15 people – US$68 per person
Request a quote for 16+ people
Reduced costs for children 4-12, children 3 and under free
If you wish to book this tour please quote STT111. You may contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or +2017 333 8800.