Constructed in 642 AD under orders of the commander of the Muslim army that conquered Egypt, the Mosque of Amr ibn al-As
was the first mosque to ever be built on Egyptian soil.
Situated north of the Roman Fortress of Babylon, it sits on the edge of Fustat, the country’s first capital, which was founded by Amr ibn al-As.
The mosque is said to have been built on the site where the general pitched his tent, and the original structure was thought to consist of only palm trunks covered with leaves. It expanded to its current size in 827 AD, while the Fatimid period saw the mosque ornately decorated with marble, mosaics, silver coatings, and a moving pulpit. The building has been restored and expanded upon many times since, with parts of the entrance reconstructed as recently as the 1980s.
The mosque incorporates both Greek and Roman architectural styles. It features 200 marble columns, many taken from ancient sites, and three minarets.
The Mosque of Amr ibn al-As is close to the Coptic Quarter in Cairo. To reach it, head north on Sharia Mar Girgis and past the Souq al-Fustat market. The nearest metro station is Mar Girgis.