The Mosque of al-Iskandariyya is located at the easternmost section of the old city of Zabid. It was incorporated into the city's fortifications at one point, and is located between two towers of the citadel. For this reason, the Mosque of al-Iskandariyya is also known as the Citadel Mosque. Its minaret rises to sixty meters. A section of its base is incorporated into a citadel tower.
It has been suggested that the Mosque of al-Iskandariyya reflects the style of the Rasulid period and that it dates to the fourteenth century, although the exact date is uncertain. An inscribed panel flanking the mihrab shows that Ottoman general Alexander (Iskandar) Ramos established a religious school at the mosque in 1533, which indicates that the mosque was already extant at this time. The inscription explains that the teaching was financed with revenue from irrigated agricultural lands in the Zabid hinterland, pointing to the central role of agriculture in the local economy. Egyptian and Ottoman decorative details on the mosque and the citadel indicate that they were renovated up until the nineteenth century. The mosque is constructed in brick with a whitewash stucco finish, characteristic of many other important civic and religious buildings in Zabid.
Since 1997, the al-Iskandariyya Mosque has been the subject of a citywide restoration project by the Royal Ontario Museum.
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