Alexandria in the Islamic Era

Alexandria From The Arab Opening to Modern Times

After 3 months of siege and conquests, Amr ibn El-As entered Alexandria. Reconciliation was concluded in (20 Hijri, 641 AD). Eleven-month truce was sealed between the Arabs and the Byzantines whereby Arabs were not allowed in and the Byzantine army was to evacuate and Roman troops not return to it. It was also concluded that Muslims should not confiscate Christians’ churches or meddle into their religious affairs.

The Jews were allowed to live in Alexandria and the Copts enjoyed total freedom as regards observance of their religious rituals and activities without any interference from the ruling authority after the Islamic conquest. The planning of the city was not essentially changed although the buildings were renovated and old ones demolished. The city thrived on a substantial commercial boom: hotels were established as well as agencies and factories. The Sultans were keen on fortifying the port of Alexandria and renovating the fences of the city. Alexandrians were supplied with water from the River Nile; the stream of Mahmoudeya, where bridges and dams and ships sailed throughout the year, was drilled and disinfected.

The Mosque of Turbana

It is located in France Street, lt was established in 1684, The small entrance on the Street is triangle designed and it is tiled in black and red, with some wooden streaks in between. There are also Kufi writings up “there is no God save for Allah” and “Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger”. Up the stairway, on the left, there are 2 great antique granite columns, crowned with canthos-leaves ornaments (on the Corinthian style). In between there is an open air yard with iron trellis and barred windows. On the right, there is the colonnade of the Mosque. Still, two thirds of the entrance wall is tiled. Currently, religious rituals are observed there.

Sidi Bishr Mosque

It was established by the Sufi scholar Bishr ibn Al-Hussein Al-Johari, in the late 19th century and was renovated later by Khedive Abbas ll.He used to hold the Friday prayer there, while he was in the Montaza Palace. It was further renovated in 1945 and its area was increased four folds during the rule of King Farouk. A garden was planted in front of it in 1947 and a spacious square was established.

Abu al-Abbas el-Morsi Mosque

It is located at the Mosques square, in Gumrok district. it Gumrok district. lt was established by Sheikh Zain el-Din ibn Al-Qutn, one of the traders in Alexandria, over the tomb and dome of Abu el-Abbas el-Morsi in (706 Hijri-1307 AD). It has a squared minaret. The Ministry of Awqaf in Egypt commissioned the establishment of the current mosque in 1927, with its lofty minaraet, on the Eastern harbor, on the Andalusian Arab style. It has marble and copper columns and octagonal ones, built on the old mosque.

Koussa Pasha Fort

One of the most interesting defensive forts. The fort is on top of a plateau overlooking the Mediterranean in Abu Kir. The fort was built under the reign of Mohamed Ali. After Fraser campaign in 1907, Mohamed Ali had discerned the strategic importance of the site. Koussa Pasha Fort was supplied with cannons. The fort is separated from the nearly hill by a 20 wide ditch.

A bridge, across the ditch leads to the entrance of the Fort. In 1879, under the reign of khedive Ismail, the fort was supplied with four major Armstrong cannons,to enhance the defense of the fort.

The importance of the fort lies in the fact that it typifies the nature of the ottoman period. The fort is also known as Sabaa Fort and offer abukir a fantastic touristic feature.


Fort Qaitbay

Fort Qaitbay is an impressive building located on a narrow peninsula where one of the ancient wonders of the world, the famous lighthouse-the Pharos once stood. The Fort was built in the 15th century and now houses a naval museum.

It is an impressive building and tourists will need about an hour to explore the rooms and towers, as well as the museum which houses some interesting weapons. The Fort also offers beautiful views of the city of Alexandria as well as the Mediterranean.