The Mosque of Suleyman Pasha al-Khadim, the first erected in Egypt under Ottoman rule, was built in 1528 by the governor for the use of the Janissaries quartered in the northern enclosure.
The mosque is essentially Ottoman in plan and profile. The prayer hall adopts the Ottoman T-form variant and is covered by a shallow central dome in the Ottoman manner, flanked by 3 semidomes. This is fronted by a courtyard surrounded by domed arcades. The minaret is similarly Ottoman in form with a cylindrical, faceted shaft topped by a conical finial, and located to the right of the entrance façade. It is raised to a proportionately great height over the small mosque.
The interior reflects the outward Ottoman form with the dome resting on spherical pendentives, and is ornamented with marble revetment, inscriptions, painting, and elaborate stucco.
Other features of the complex include a shrine of the Fatimid period, rebuilt with its entrance incorporated into the arcades of the court. It was originally erected by Abu Mansur Qasta, governor of Alexandria around 1140, to house his tomb, and dedicated to Sidi Sariya, a companion of the Prophet, hence the common name of the mosque. A second court fronting two halls comprising a kuttab was constructed to the north of the mosque. The domes of the kuttab were covered with blue tiles. The complex was completed by a sabil, no longer extant, and a perimeter wall which encompasses other, subsidiary courts and gardens.
Bates, Ülkü. "Façades in Ottoman Cairo." In The Ottoman City and Its Parts, edited by Irene Bierman et al., 129-172. New Rochelle, N.Y. : A.D. Caratzas, 1991.
Behrens-Abouseif, Doris. Islamic Architecture in Cairo. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1989.
Behrens-Abouseif, Doris. Egypt's Adjustment to Ottoman Rule: Institutions, Waqf and Architecture in Cairo (16th and 17th Centuries). Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1994.
El-Masry, Ahmed M. Die Bauten von Hadim Sulaiman Pascha (1468-1548): nach seinen Urkunden im Ministerium für Fromme Stiftungen in Kairo. Berlin: K. Schwartz, 1991.
Floor plan of Suleyman Pasha Mosque at the Cairo Citadel
Floor plan of the complex in the Cairo Citadel, with the funerary shrine of Sidi Sariya at the northeast corner of the mosque forecourt and an elementary school in the lower platform. DWG file in AutoCAD 2000 format. Click the download button to download a zipped file containing the .dwg file.