The Attarine Mosque is situated in the middle of the unique area of Attarine district which is one of the most interesting districts in Alexandria.
Attarine means `spice dealers` and, originally, this mosque was a church dedicated to St. Athanasius in 370 A.D. Then, when the Arabs entered Egypt in 641 A.D., the church was converted to a small mosque and was known as `The Mosque of Thousands of Columns`. After that, in 1057 A.D., Badr El Din El Gamaly restored it and the mosque was used as a congregational mosque for Friday prayers.
The mosque was designed in a rectangular shape that appears triangular from outside, with the minaret in the corner of the triangle in the southeastern part of the mosque. The mosque actually has two facades. The first one is in the northeast portion of the mosque where the main entrance door is located. The other entrance door of the mosque is located on the eastern side of the mosque, and it leads to the mausoleum of the mosque. The southern part of the mosque consists of eight commercial stores. The profit from these stores is used to pay for the expenses of the mosque.
The most charming element of this mosque is the minaret, which is considered as one of the most beautiful minarets in Egypt, consists of four stories. The base of the minaret has a square shape, the second is octagonal, the third level is circular and the fourth level is a magnificent small circular decorated dome.