But Muhammad Ali also sought to destroy the legacy of the Mamluks. He completely destroyed their buildings in the Cairo citadel and began to build their own. In 1816 his beloved son, Ahmed Tusun-Pasha, died, and this mosque was decided to be built in his memory.
Tusun Pasha was an active commander, he led the Egyptian army on a campaign against the Arabian Peninsula in 1811 and achieved a complete victory over the Wahhabis there. Muhammad Ali saw his receiver in Tusun Pasha.
In 1816, Tusun Pasha died near the village of Birinbal in Egypt. Presumably, the cause of death was a disease, according to some sources - the plague. His images with good quality did not survive, and to the left you see a portrait of Mohammed Ali of Egypt himself.
Such sudden death of a talented heir at the age of only 22 years still causes suspicions and is an occasion for historical investigations. Moreover, Tusun-Pasha was not the eldest son of Muhammad Ali, but only the second in seniority. Naturally, many historians suspect the eldest son - Ibrahim Pasha in the death of Tusun-Pasha.
The mosque was dedicated to the memory of Tusun-Pasha, and French architect Pascal Coste was invited to design the building. Muhammad Ali was very fond of everything European, especially in Egypt at that time there were many French, they trained the army, engaged in archeology, built buildings in European style.
Pascal Coste proposed the building in a traditional Egyptian style, which Muhammad Ali completely disliked. Let us recall that he tried in every way to destroy the legacy of the Mamluks. The new chief architect was Yusuf Bushnak from Istanbul.
He designed the building in Ottoman style, taking as a model the mosque of Istanbul. According to various sources, the prototype was either the Blue Mosque or the New Mosque in Istanbul.
Construction began in 1830 and continued until 1848 - until the death of Muhammad Ali. The construction survived two more rulers of Egypt - Ibrahim Pasha and Abbas Pasha and ended only during the reign of Said Pasha in 1857. After the construction was completed in 1857, the body of Muhammad Ali was moved here.
It turns out that the mosque was built from 1830 to 1857 - a long-term construction of 27 years, and during this time four rulers of Egypt were replaced.
Further, the mosque of Muhammad Ali stood for more than 150 years without special incidents. Only in 1931 in the main dome found problems, and it had to be completely shifted, which took two years. From 1937 to 1939 completely changed the interior of the mosque. In 1980, a large-scale restoration was carried out.
Cultural and historical significance
Many readers might have thought that Muhammad Ali wanted to please the Turkish sultan, having built the main Egyptian mosque in the Ottoman style. All just the opposite. The mosque of Mohammed Ali has two minarets, and according to the laws of the Ottoman Empire no one could build mosques with two or more minarets, except for the sultan himself.