Ascending Toward The Light
Section of a portico arcade in the Mosque of Ibn Tulun (Masjid Ibn Ṭūlūn) in Cairo, Egypt. It is said to be the oldest mosque in the city surviving in its original form and is the second oldest mosque in Egypt. Commissioned by Ahmad ibn Tulun, the Turkic Abbassid governor of Egypt, the mosque was constructed between AD 876 and 879. The upper part of the mosque’s exterior walls hold 128 arched windows with intricate pierced-stucco geometric patterns. Only four of the arched windows date back to the period of Ibn Tulun. The intersecting circle motifs are specific to that period. Each window is unique in its design motif and they are considered one of the most exquisite characteristics of the building. Stucco decoration of combining linear and floral decoration adorn the edges and soffits of the arcade and window arches. The mosque has the oldest and richest collection of stucco decoration in Egypt. For more detailed information on the style and decoration of the mosque, go to Discover Islamic Art .