BOULAK, situated on the right bank of the Nile, and distant about two miles from Cairo, of which, in fact, it is a suburb, contains about five thousand inhabitants. Formerly, an old canal, used for a nearer approach to the city, existed, and Boulak was then on an island, but this canal having been filled up, it became the nearest point on the Nile to Cairo, and thence acquired the advantages and rank of a port. Here the custom-house is placed, and dues paid on imported merchandise which passes by the Nile below Cairo.

At Boulak travellers usually hire camels, mules, or donkeys, for the short ride to the capital, and here the first decided and vivid impressions are received of their being in the vicinity of the most Oriental of Cities. It would be difficult to imagine a structure more beautiful and striking than the mosque before us. Situated in the line of street which lead to Cairo, it is one of the finest in Boulak; and scarcely surpassed for elegance by any in the city itself. The minaret is not only beautiful in the proportions of its diminished diameter from balcony to balcony, but the arabesque enrichments and decorations have left it one of the most beautiful of its class structures.

Wilkinson's Egypt