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“An impressive neo-Mamluk mosque including the mausoleum of the last Shah” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Al Rifai Mosque

Al Rifai Mosque
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US$22.86*
and up
Private Guided Tours to the Mosques of Sultan Hassan Rifa'i and Ibn Tulun in...
Ranked #40 of 312 things to do in Cairo
Certificate of Excellence
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Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
88 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
“An impressive neo-Mamluk mosque including the mausoleum of the last Shah”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2012

Although this mosque is comparatively modern (built around in the late 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century), it's probably the most impressive and beautiful building of the neo-Mamluk style (the style imitating medieval Cairo architecture). Along with the much older but equally large Madrassa of Sultan Hassan next to it, it forms one of the most extraordinary set-pieces of Islamic Cairo.

There are several parts of the mosque you can see. From the outside, you enter by one of the side-portals facing the Sultan Hassan structure, but the mosque's original grand royal entrance can be seen on the north-west side (the side facing away from the Citadel), and is worth a look.

On the inside, the door in front of you leads to the tomb-chamber of Shaykh Ar-Rifa'i, a medieval sufi saint. On the right is the impressive and richly decorated prayer hall, which you should take a moment to wander around to admire the high dome at the centre, the ceilings, the grilled windows and the mihrab (the direction of Mecca). From here, a caretaker may offer to show you some of the otherwise locked-up mausoleums containing many different tombs of various royal family members. He'll expect a tip (10 pounds is good, but it's up to you), but it's worth it if you're not in a hurry.
Other than these, some of the most historically intriguing tombs are open without restriction when you turn left as you enter: the tomb of King Farouk, the last major king of Egypt (he abdicated in the 1952 coup, but his son, technically the last king of Egypt, ruled for less than a year), and the lavishly marbled mausoleum of the last Shah of Iran (who lived in exile after the 1979 revolution and was married to King Farouk's sister). An adjoining mausoleum contains the Shah's relatives but isn't always open.

At all times, throughout the building, make sure to look-up at the high ceilings which are richly decorated, or at the stone portals of the various entrances to the mosque.

Visited October 2012
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2 Thank BobPraz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Cairo, Egypt
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“History & architecture”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 October 2012

This huge mosque is a perfect example of the islamic architecture. Very beautiful colors, drawings. Situated just next to Sultan Hassan Mosque & El Mahmoudya Mosque. Must see as a part of islamic history in Egypt.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank Ibn-Batota36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Giza, Egypt
Level Contributor
60 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Royal Family Tomb”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 September 2012

It was originally built as a tomb for the later generation of Mohamed Ali's royal family. Also The last Shah of Iran Mohamed Rezza Bahlawy is buried there. The magnificent scale of this structure is very interesting and amusing. It's a very big mosque. It won't take more than 20 min to look around the place.

Visited November 2011
Helpful?
Thank SDerbala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cairo, Egypt
Level Contributor
25 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“One of the grandest mosques ever built”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 May 2012

this mosques is GRAND، it is really unbelievably huge، the place like any worship place is very quiet and feels surreal in a way، I just love to look at the huge ceiling which seems like it is hanging ١٠٠٠٠ ft up، if you cross the street you will find Sultan Hassan Mosques which is even grander. finally؛ this is a must go if you are in Cairo

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1 Thank elhoss-masr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“great place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 May 2012

big mosque located in the cairo infront of AL Sultan Hassan Mosque all in all you will find some thing not like any where

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
Thank Madioo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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