Muizz Street, Al Muizz Street

Posted On : 27/02/2023 Kate Clark 50
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When the Fatimids took control of Egypt in AD 969, bad governance and heavy taxes owed to the Abbasid Ikhshidid had devastated the region and its capital, Fustat.

The Fatimids soon sought to establish their power over Egypt and its people.

The new caliph al-Muizz undertook a massive reconstruction project, through the restructuring of roads, the system of canals on which agriculture in the Nile valley depended, and the building of a new capital, al-Qahira.

The Fatimids were Shia Muslims, strongly committed to spreading their interpretation of Islam in the lands controlled by the Abbasid caliphs. The construction of a new and modern capital, al Qahira, is due to an attempt to rival the prestige of the Abbasid capital, Baghdad.

Muizz Street, named after the first Fatimid Caliph in Egypt, was built as the main street of the great Fatimid city, and while much of it was destroyed following the reconquest of the Sunni Caliphate, Sharia al Mu'izz managed to retain its importance.

Most of the palaces, mosques and monuments built by Ayubid, Mamluk and Ottoman rulers who dominated Egypt after the Fatimid period continued to be built in this landmark.

To this day, Muizz street holds the greatest density of the most significant buildings and monuments of Islamic art. Traveling along the heart of Islamic Cairo for its entire length, from Bab al Futuh to Bab al Zuweila, one understands how this street constitutes one of the most important places in Islamic history.

In addition to its array of impressive monuments, its bustling surroundings are home to hundreds of artisans and the wares displayed in the Khan el Khalili market. A tour of its labyrinthine streets is one of the essential experiences in a visit to Cairo.

In evidence:

A visit to Muizz street combines the experience of Islamic Cairo's history with the modern surroundings that have developed around its remarkable ancient architecture. The northern part of the street, starting from Bab al Futuh to Sharia al Azhar (alongside Khan al Khalili) has been recently restored. 

Northern part:

Bab al Futuh

Al Hakim Mosque

Al Aqmar Mosque

Qalawun complex

Bayt Suhaymi

Khan el Khalili

South part:

Ghouria complex

Mu'ayyad Mosque

Bab Zuweila

Kheymayya/ Tent Market

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By Kate Clark

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