Al Ghouri complex Cairo, Egypt tours, booking
Al Ghouri complex Cairo built as a funerary complex established by Sultan Qansuh Al Ghouri. In fact, Al Ghouri complex built between 1503 and 1504. It was in the Fahhamin quarter on Al Mu’izz street in Islamic Cairo. There was a clear decline in the quality of craftsmanship. Moreover, it was particularly in stone carving and marble inlay during his reign. Al Ghouri complex indeed is an interesting architectural composition. It built on both sides of a street. In this regard, they form one of the most impressive hyphen, or double ensembles in Cairo. The western side in Al Ghouri complex includes a Friday madrasa and mosque. They built on the Qa’a plan. The eastern side of Al Ghouri complex includes a Khanqah and mausoleum as well as a Sabil kuttab.
In fact, Qansuh Al Ghouri was the next to last Mamluk sultan. Moreover, he was the last to enjoy a reign of any duration between 1500 and 1516 AD. Al Ghouri seems to have an energetic fellow who was still playing polo in his 70s. Furthermore, he was also a somewhat arbitrary depot who could be cruel and superstitious. Al Ghouri appears to have taken his responsibilities and was a great builder. He also loved flowers and music. Moreover, he wrote poetry and attracted to Sufi and other pious men. He died (some say of a heart attack) fighting the Ottoman Turks outside Aleppo. He followed the defection of Amir Khayrbak in the midst of the battle. His body never found. His tomb was thus occupied by his successor the unfortunate Tumanbay. Tumanbay buried in the courtyard of Al Ghoury complex behind the mausoleum.
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The madrasa at Al Ghouri complex inaugurated on the eve of the Feast of the Sacrifice. Feast of the Sacrifice called Eid Al Adha in Arabic language. It was in May 1503 with a great banquet which attended by the Abbasid Caliph Mustamsek. Mustamsek was the chief judges of the four orthodox rites. The madrasa and mosque at Al Ghouri complex built in the late Mamluk cruciform style. They inspired by Qaitbay’s Mausoleum and Madrasa. But they are larger in scale and their details are less elegant. The western facade of Al Ghouri complex has a trilobed stalactite portal. It also has a tiraz band and a minaret projecting at its south edge. The minaret of Al Ghouri complex is atypical of this period. Mamluk minarets consist of square, octagonal and round layers.
This four story minaret is rectangular from top to bottom with arched panels on each side. The top of Al Ghouri complex had four bulbs instead of just one. They made of brick covered with green tiles. In 1505, the minaret was leaning. It reconstructed and the upper part made with bricks covered with blue faience tiles. The present top with five bulbs is a modern addition and a misrepresentation of the original one. There were already minarets with double bulbs such as those at Qanibay Al Rammah mosque. When Muhammad Bey Abu Al Dahab built his Mosque, he crowned its minaret with five bulbs. The red and white checkerboard squares that adorn the minaret actually painted on. There is distinctive poly-chrome marble dado. It flagging laid in geometric patterns and gilt.
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It painted wood paneling. There is a central sunken and open courtyard which surrounded by four Iwans. The two largest of the Iwans have Moorish arches. The smaller two have raised arches. The interior paved and paneled with black and white marble. Stone carving covers the walls but it is of poor quality, shallow and repetitive. The stalactites that frame the upper walls of the covered courtyard, underneath the skylight. The Khanqah and mausoleum of Al Ghouri complex function as a cultural center today. The Khanqah is a religious hostel for Sufi monks. The facade of the khanqah and mausoleum also has a trilobed stalactite portal and a tiraz band. On its northern edge a sabil-kuttab projects into the street with three facades.
The interior of the sabil-kuttab is decorative, with marble floors. The ceiling supported by rounded, painted and gilt beams. From the vestibule of Al Ghouri complex, the funeral chamber is on the right. To the left is a prayer hall with three Iwans which distributed around the raised. They covered part of a lantern. The mausoleum of Al Ghouri complex was on the south side of the interior. Now it has only its rectangular base and transition zone of the dome. The dome made of brick and covered over with green tiles. It collapsed at the beginning of the 1900s. Actually, the dome had been unstable from the beginning. It rebuilt three times during Al Ghouri’s lifetime. The builder never got it right. The mausoleum dome of Imam Shafi’i also covered at one time with green tiles. It was perhaps after Al Ghouri’s restoration.
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The transition zone of Al Ghouri complex made of stone pendentives. Perhaps the most interesting feature here the carved surface of the wall. The marble slabs that once decorated the madrasa, having confiscated by Al Ghouri. It was from someone else in the first place. They were in turn confiscated and taken to Istanbul by Selim I in 1517. On the left or north side of the entrance vestibule is a qa’a, which here called a khanqah. No living units attached to it. Earlier Khanqahs did provide housing for Sufi. This one was increasing rare during the late Mamluk period. The Waqf deed states that Sufi should have their meetings there. It does not refer to any living accommodations provided for them. There are a few living units attached to the madrasa across the street. It was student housing those the foundation deed does not mention teaching activities.
These structures are an example of a royal religious foundation. They are with facades which not adjusted to the street alignment. In fact, they instead make an angle, leaving the space between the two facades widening into a sort of square. The square of Al Ghouri complex is semi-enclosed at the north ends. Moreover, it is by the projection of the Sabil-Kuttab of the mausoleum. At the south end is by the projection of the minaret of the madrasa. The square rented for market stalls. It was the income which contributed to Al Ghouri’s endowment of the foundation. At one time, the square roofed over. And when David Roberts drew the square in 1839, it was a silk market.
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In fact, this support continues even today. Moreover, there are still shops here on both sides of the street. The rend now collected by the Ministry of Waqfs. Furthermore, it used in maintaining the religious buildings and their personnel. In fact, Al Ghouri himself never buried in his mausoleum. Several others buried before the sultan’s death. The first was his daughter in 1505. It followed by his son, Nasser Al Din Muhammad and by one of his concubines. The latter two were victims of the plague. In 1510, Al Ghouri also had the three year old daughter of his secretary of State, Tumanbay, buried here.