Al Harrawi house Cairo Egypt tours, booking, prices, reviews
Al Harrawi House Cairo (Beit El Harrawi) built in 1731 by Ahmed Ben Youssef El Serafi. In fact, Al Harrawi House indeed is one of the fine examples of the Islamic houses representing the Ottoman era. The house named after its last owner, Abdel Rahman Al Harrawi. He was a doctor at Qasr El Ayini Medical School. Moreover, the house located in the heart of a well known quarter in Cairo. It is behind Al Azhar Mosque. Furthermore, the house situated between two narrow Haraa (Alley). They are Haret Al Madrassa and Zuqaq Al Ayini. In fact, several other Islamic houses and monuments found in the Darb El Ahmar surroundings. Furthermore, the house has a common wall with Sitt Wasila house. It is next to the Zeinab Khatoun house and to the Ghannamiah Hall.
Moreover, the house is also at a near distance is Al Ayini Mosque (15th century). Al Harrawi house’s main entrance is through Zuqaq Al Qasr alley. In fact, it no longer used. In spite of its importance, the house has a small street facade. The house’s southern facade is remarkable. This because of its height and a quite impressive large wooden Masshrabeyya. They show the presence of a Qaa on the first floor. Qaa means hall. The secondary entrance used nowadays was a later addition that dates back to the 19th century. It located right next to Sitt Wasila House. As you enter through the southern door, a long corridor leads you into the courtyard.
Further details about Al Harrawi House (Beit Al Oud):
In fact, the courtyard is an open air area controlling the entrance to all parts of the house. What is noticeable is the absence of a secondary space or porch which called “Maguaz”. It was one of the important Islamic design concepts which used to conceal the interior of the house. The women living in it. This tradition became less strict in the late 18th century. One of the main attractions of Al Harrawi House Cairo is the “Mandara”. It is a spacious sitting hall on the ground floor that occupies all the East wing of the house. The “Mandara” served as Male-guests reception area. It is a space that is quiet common in Islamic Houses. The “Mandara” designed in a manner consisting of three specific halls.
In fact, the entrance to this hall is always through the middle section which called the “Durqaa“. It is where you find an octagonal fountain decorated with mosaic pieces. The marble flooring and geometrical designs of the “Durqaa” are exceptional. Two “Iwan(s)” surround the fountain where one was always at a higher level. That is why the Master of the house could sit there in the middle of his guests. The ceiling ornamented with painted drawings. The walls-built-in cupboards in various colors distinguish those two “Iwans”. Iwans mean halls. Fountains were always the center of the “Qaa”. They were an essential element in Islamic building due to several reasons.
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In fact, during those times, spying was common. It believed that fountains and the noise of running water was a way to prevent curious spies. They overhear what said between others. Moreover, the fountain was also an important design concept functioning. It is a natural method for cooling air during hot summer days. On the first floor, the main Qaa occupies the southern part of the house. The predominant spread color is blue, which gives an wonderful artistic combination. The ceiling of this hall considered evolutionary in the construction methods. It is also in the decorations. The first floor of Al Harrawi House Cairo consists of the private rooms. They reached by unique stairs in the eastern side of the yard.
Just a few walls still remain on the second floor, only the rooms above the Mandara. In fact, they still stand intact. Al Harrawi house Cairo is one of a few that remained in good shape over the years. It restored several times by the French Comite de Conservation between 1920 and 1950. The Comite de Conservation known to have worked on many other Islamic monuments in Cairo. A French architect called Bernard Maurey restored the house. It was under the supervision of the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology. At the moment the house reused as a Cultural Center. It is where different cultural events, lectures musical gala and artistic expositions take place. In fact, the house Cairo also known as Beit Al Oud. Beit and Manzel mean house.