'The Mosque of Sultan Hassan, Cairo', 1859.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A stereoscopic photograph of the mosque of Sultan Hassan bin Mohammad bin Qala'oun, Cairo, Egypt, taken in 1859 by Francis Frith (1822-1898). This image is one of a series of one hundred stereoscopic photographs taken by Frith for Negretti and Zambra and published in 1862 in a book entitled 'Egypt, Nubia and Ethiopia Illustrated'. Thought by many to be the most outstanding Islamic monument in Egypt, this mosque was built for Sultan Hassan between 1356 and 1363. It was specially designed to provide a shared mosque and madrasa, religious school for each of the four main Sunni sects of the orthodox Muslim religion, the Shafite, Malikite, Hanefte and Hanbalite. Francis Frith was a pioneer of travel photography. He was also one of photography's greatest entrepreneurs, founding a company that was to become the largest publisher of photographs in the world.