al-Qalai Mosque (جامع القلعي), constructed in 1431, has one of the most impressive minarets in the old city of Damascus (دمشق). This Mamluk-era mosque has the last minaret to be built in the city utilizing the square design plan. It features elaborate decoration that includes muqarnas and several stone mosaics with geometric patterns and blue faience. The minaret is topped with a balcony and an octagonal spire. While the minaret of this mosque is in remarkably good condition, it is all that remains of the original structure. The interior of the mosque is an entirely modern construction.
The mosque is open during regular prayer times, but access to the interior of the mosque is not necessary to appreciate the minaret. The minaret is not visible from Madhat Basha Market (سوق مدحت باشا) due to the street being covered, and is best viewed from the parallel market street to the south. When exploring this area, also be sure to note the impressive minaret of the Mamluk-era Seidi Hisham Bin Ammar Mosque (جامع سيدي هشام بن عمار) located about fifty meters to the east. The octagonal design of that minaret provides an interesting contrast of Mamluk architecture.
Getting There: al-Qalai Mosque (جامع القلعي) is located in the west of the old city of Damascus (دمشق), on the southern side of Madhat Basha Market (سوق مدحت باشا). It is roughly between Seidi Hisham Bin Ammar Mosque (جامع سيدي هشام بن عمار) and Sabil al-Khazneh (سبيل الخزنة). The entrance to the mosque is on the eastern side, and the minaret is best viewed from the parallel street to the south.
Coordinates: 33°30’30.00″N / 36°18’13.00″E
Transliteration Variants: al-Qali Mosque
Rating: (3.5 / 10)