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Activities in Islamic Cairo

Cairo Citadel

Cairo Citadel Egypt

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Cairo Citadel indeed is one of Cairo’s most popular tourist attractions. It located on a spur of limestone that detached from its parent Moqattam Hills by quarrying. Moreover, Cairo Citadel is one of the world’s greatest monuments to medieval warfare. In fact, it is a visible landmark on Cairo’s eastern skyline. When viewed from the back side, Cairo Citadel reveals a medieval character. The area where Cairo Citadel located now began it’s life as the “Dome of the Wind”. It is a pavilion which created in 810 by Hatim Ibn Hartama, who was then governor. Indeed this area well known for its cool breeze. In fact, the early governors didn’t realize its strategic importance. However, they used the pavilion for its view of Cairo.

During 1176 and 1183 Salah El Din fortified the area to protect Cairo from Crusaders attacks. Since then, it never been without a military garrison. In fact, it served as both a fortress and a royal city. Legend has it that Salah El Din chose the site for its healthy air. The story goes that he hung pieces of meat up all around Cairo. Everywhere in Cairo the meat spoiled within a day. At Cairo Citadel area, it remained fresh for several days. This location provides a strategic advantage to dominate Cairo and to defend outside attackers. Salah El Din came from Syria. It is where each town had some sort of fortress to act as a stronghold for the local ruler. It was natural that he would carry this custom to Egypt.

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Moreover, Salah El Din used the most modern fortress building techniques to construct Cairo Citadel. Great, round towers built protruding from the walls. The defenders could direct flank fire on those who might scale the walls. In fact, the walls themselves were ten meters (30 ft) high and three meters (10 ft) thick. The Bir Yusuf (Salah El Din’s Well) dug to supply the occupants of the fortress with drinking water. Some 87 meters (285 ft) deep, it cut though solid rock down to the water table. It is not a shaft. There is a ramp large enough. Animals could descend into the well to power the machinery which lifts the water. The well closed to tourists these days.

After the death of Salah al-Din, his nephew, Al Kamel, reinforced the Cairo Citadel. It was by enlarging several of the towers. He encased the Burg al-Haddad (Blacksmith’s Tower) and the Burgar Ramla (Sand Tower). Moreover, he made them three times larger. These two towers controlled the narrow pass between Cairo Citadel and the Muqattam hills. Al Kamel also built some great keeps (towers) around the perimeter of the walls. Three of them can still seen overlooking Cairo Citadel parking area. These massive structures were square, up to 25 meters (80 ft) tall and 30 meters (100 ft) wide. In 1218, upon the death of Al Kamel’s father, Sultan Al Kamel moved his house to Cairo Citadel. It is where he built his palace in what is now the Southern Enclosure.

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In fact, the palace no longer exits. It was the seat of government for the Country of Egypt until the construction of the Abdeen Palace. Mumluks overthrew the Ayyubid rulers in 1250. Their sultan Baybars Al Bunduqdari (1260-77) moved into Al Kamel’s palace. Moreover, he isolated the palace compound by building a wall. It divided the fortress into two separate enclosures. They linked by the Bab (gate) Al Qullah. The area where the palace once stood referred to as the Southern Enclosure. The larger part of Cairo Citadel proper referred to the Northern Enclosure. Al Nasser Muhammad interested with this era. In fact, he ruled during three separate periods (1294-1295, 1299-1309 and 1310-1341). Moreover, he tore down most of the earlier buildings in the Southern Enclosure. He replaced them with grander structures.

Unfortunately, the only remaining facility built by him is the Al Nasser Mohammad Mosque. In fact, it begun in 1318, finished in 1355 and located near the enclosure gate. He built a great Hall of Justice with a grand and green dome. It towered above the other structures in the Southern Enclosure. Beside it built the Qasr Al Ablaq (Striped Palace) with its black and yellow marble. This palace, used for official ceremonies and conducting affairs of state. Moreover, it had a staircase leading down to the Lower Enclosure and the Royal Stables. It is where An-Nasir kept 4,800 horses. The Ottomans controlled Egypt between 1517 and the early 20th century. Much of what we see of Cairo Citadel actually dates back to this period.

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The Lower Enclosure where the stables of Al Nasser known as Al Azeb. It was because some of the Ottoman soldiers, known as the Aazab regiments. These soldiers not allowed to wed until they retired. The word Aazab means bachelor. The Ottomans rebuilt the wall which separates the Northern and Southern Enclosures. It was as well as the Bab Al Quallah. Moreover, they also built the largest tower in today’s Citadel. It is Burg Al Muqattam which rises above the entrance to Cairo Citadel off Salah Salem Highway. In fact, this tower is 25 meters (80 ft) tall and has a diameter of 24 meters (79 ft). In 1754 the Ottomans rebuilt the walls of the Lower Enclosure. He also added a fortified gate called the Bab El Azab.

On the late 16th century, the strict military structure for the Ottoman soldiers deteriorated. During this period, the Aazab troops began to marry. They even allowed to build their own houses within the fortress. By the mid 17th century, Cairo Citadel became an enclosed residential district. Moreover, it became with private shops and other commercial enterprises. It was besides to public baths and a maze of small streets. The Ottoman Mohammad Ali Pasha came to power in 1805. He was indeed one of the great builders of Modern Egypt. Moreover, he was responsible for considerable alteration and building within Cairo Citadel. He rebuilt much of the outer walls and replaced many of the decaying interior buildings. Furthermore, he also reversed the roles of the Northern and Southern Enclosures.

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Moreover, he made the Northern Enclosure his private domain. The Southern Enclosure opened to the public. Mohammad Ali Mosque built in the style called Ottoman Baroque. In fact, it imitates the great religious mosques of Istanbul, today dominates the Southern Enclosure. South of the Mosque in the Hawsh is the Gawhara Palace. Gawhara means jewel. This structure built between 1811 and 1814. Moreover, it housed the Egyptian government until it later moved to the Abdeen Palace. Today there is also the National Police Museum at Cairo Citadel. It built over the site of the Mamluk Striped Palace just opposite the Mosque of Al Nasir Muhammad. Moreover, it has displays of law enforcement dating back to the dynastic period.

In 1983 a hall from the Striped Palace discovered. It buried deep beneath rubble, and can be seen at the southern end of this terrace. The terrace also provides a wonderful view of Cairo. Through Bab Al Qullah in the Northern Enclosure one finds Mohammad Ali’s Harim Palace. The palace built in the same Ottoman style as the Jewel Palace. The statue in front is of Ibrahim Pasha by Charles Cordier. The Palace served as a Family house for the Khedive. It was until the government moved to Abdeen Palace. Moreover, it was a military hospital during the British occupation. It only returned to Egyptian control after World War II. Since 1949, it is the Military Museum of Egypt In fact, it founded by King Farouk. The Museum has many artifacts illustrating warfare in Egypt.

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One of the most interesting attractions is indeed the Summer Room. This room contains an elaborate system of marble fountains and basins. It also has channels meant as a cooling system, and is the last such example in Cairo. In the livery court behind the carriage gate of the museum, there is a statue of Sulayman Pasha. The satatue stood in the city center. Just beyond this museum is a small Carriage Museum in what was the British Officer’s mess until 1946. Just behind this museum is the Burg Al Turfah (Masterpiece Tower).

Burg Al Turfah is one of the largest square towers. It built by Al Kamel in 1207. Near the far end of the Northern Enclosure is the Sulayman Pasha Mosque. The mosque was the first Ottoman style mosque built in Egypt and dates back to 1528. In fact, it built to serve the early Ottoman troops. Today Cairo Citadel is one of Egypt main attractions. It is often the most popular non-pharaonic monuments. One may walk through time here, from the medieval era onward. Many other wonderful Islamic structures are nearby. A walk from Cairo Citadel to Khan El Khalili is indeed a delightful experiences.

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Blue mosque Cairo Aqsunqer mosque

Blue mosque Aqsunqur mosque Cairo Egypt

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Blue Mosque Cairo also called Aqsunqur Mosque or the Mosque of Ibrahim Agha. In fact, the mosque is one of several “blue Mosques” in the world. In fact, it situated in the Tabbana Quarter in Islamic Cairo. Moreover, it is between Bab Zuweila and the Citadel of Saladin (Cairo Citadel.) Blue Mosque Cairo (Aqsunqur Mosque) also serves as a funerary complex. Furthermore, it contains the mausoleums of its founder Shams Al Din Aqsunqur and his sons. Aqsunqur Mosque also contains number of children of the Bahri Mamluk sultan Al Nasser Muhammad. It also contains Ibrahim Agha Al Mustahfizan tomb. Aqsunqur mosque in Cairo built in 1347. It was on the orders of the prince Shams Al Din Aqsunqur. In fact, it was during the Mamluk Sultanate of Al Muzaffar Hajji.

Aqsunqur was the son-in-law of former sultan Al Nasir Muhammad. He was one of the more prominent emirs of the latter’s court. Al Maqrizi was Medieval Muslim historian. He noted Aqsunqur supervised the entire project and also participated in its actual construction. Being the former governor of Tripoli, he had the mosque built in a Syrian architectural style. It built around the late sultan Al Ashraf Kujuk’s mausoleum. In fact, it constructed in 1341. The mausoleum’s incorporation within the mosque accounts for the irregularity of the building’s structure. Aqsunqur’s grave also located in Blue mosque complex along with those of his sons. A mausoleum for Al Sultan Shaaban’s mother built in 1362. She was one of Al Nasser’s wives and mother of sultan Kamal Shaaban.

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In fact, Blue mosque Cairo was reportedly in poor shape in 15th century. In fact, it was due to the loss of waqf funds from Syria. Waqf is religious endowments. Because of that, Aqsunqur mosque used only for Friday prayers and religious holidays. In 1412 an ablution fountain built in the center of the courtyard. It was by the Mamluk Amir Tughan. In fact, the prince Ibrahim Agha Al Mustahfizan was a general of the Jannisaries. He began a major renovation project for Aqsunqur mosque. It was Between 1652 and 1654 during Ottoman rule. He restored its roof and arcades. Moreover, he added columns to support the mosque’s southern prayer hall. He decorated the building with blue and green tiles. Hence the mosque’s unofficial name as the “Blue Mosque”.

The tiles imported from Constantinople and Damascus. They crafted in the Iznik style with floral motifs. Floral motif are such as cypress trees and vases holding tulips. Ibrahim Agha built his mausoleum and decorated it with marble tiles, in the southern hall. Moreover, it constructed using the typical Mamluk architectural style. It included a mihrab “prayer niche” resembling the mausoleums of Mamluk emirs. It also located in the Blue mosque Cairo or Aqsunqur mosque complex. The Blue Mosque Cairo renamed after its restorer to Ibrahim Agha Mosque. The latter name not used frequently. In 1908 the Blue mosque Cairo restored by the Comité de Conservation des Monuments de l’Art Arabe.

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The 1992 Cairo earthquake damaged the arches of the mosque’s porticoes. But they reinforced by the Egyptian government in the mid-1990. It was to prevent extra deterioration. Aga Khan Trust for Culture abbreviated as (AKTC). It is with the World Monuments Fund began a restoration project of the Blue mosque Cairo in 2009. The AKTC stated the restoration would finished in 2012. Renovation work would focus structural stability, conservation of the interior and roof repair. Aqsunqur mosque Cairo also became a major destination for tourists who visit Egypt. Blue mosque general layout consists of a large open courtyard (sahn). It enclosed by four arcades (riwaqs.) There are three main entrances with the main portal opening into the western arcade. The latter consists of a large pointed arch with corbels on the front edges of its roof.

Facing the courtyard is the dikka “tribune” from which the Qur’an recited. Kujuk’s mausoleum situated at the portal’s northern side. It has two facades facing the street. Of the two alternative entrances, one opens into the southern arcade. The other opens between the northern and western arcades. Kujuk’s mausoleum predates the Blue mosque. Unlike other tombs in Cairo, it not aligned according to the qibla. Qibla is orientation with Mecca. Instead, it aligned with the street. This structure is the principal feature unique to other major mosques in Egypt. Above the prayer hall sits a brick one-bay dome carried on four brick squinches. A large brick dome supported by brick squinches also situated atop the mausoleum of Kujuk.

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The latter has a pendentive below each squinch. Two stone domes located over the mausoleum of Tankizbugha. Another stone dome built above the tomb of Al Sultan Al Sha’ban’s mother. The mosque’s interior also has an irregular layout due to Ibrahim Agha’s renovations. It replaced most of the original cross-vaulting of the arcades with columns. They support a flat wooden ceiling. Qibla wall uses cross-vaults that rest on octagonal-shaped piers. The technique of cross-vaults is a reflection of Islamic Syrian architectural influence. Along with the Mosque of Amir Al Maridani, Aqsunqur Mosque has a hypo-style plan which is rare in Cairo. It associated with Syrian style mosques.

The mihrab (prayer niche that indicates qibla) built in a geometric interlace style. It found in Mamluk architecture. The design used in the mihrab’s spandrels. Other features of the mihrab include the hood’s relief painted carvings. They include fluctuating lintel panels and marble panels, carved marble registers and mosaic inlay. To the right of the mihrab is the marble minbar “pulpit”. The pulpit decorated with light gray and salmon. It is green and plum-colored stone inserts. It is the oldest and one of the handful remaining marble minbars used in a Cairo mosque. The handrail also built of marble. It also has a pattern of rolling leaf and grape clusters carved from the stone.

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The minaret situated at the southern corner of the facade. They are looking into Bab Al Wazir Street. They are affording a dominant view of the entire southern part of the street. It consists of three stories. The first being circular and plain. The second circular and ribbed. The top story is a bulb resting on a pavilion supported by eight slender stone columns. Its circular shaft is rare among Mamluk minarets. Before its 20th-century restoration, the minaret had four stories. The third story was octagonal and removed during the restoration. The Aqsunqur mosque Cairo minaret featured in several 19th-century illustrations.

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Bab Zuweila Cairo Egypt

Bab Zuweila Cairo Egypt

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Bab Zuweila Cairo is one of three remaining gates in the walls of the Old City of Cairo Egypt. In fact, Bab Zuweila Cairo also known as Bawabbat al-Mitwally during the Ottoman period. Sometimes spelled Bab Zuwayla. It is indeed one of the major landmarks of the city. Moreover, it is the last remaining southern gate from the walls of Fatimid Cairo in the 11th and 12th century. The word of Bab is an Arabic word means “Door”. Zuweila is the name of a tribe of Berber warriors from the western desert. They are members of which charged with guarding the gate. The city of Cairo founded in 969 as the royal city of the Fatimid’s Dynasty. In 1092, Badr al-Jamali built a second wall around Cairo.

In fact, Bab Zuweila Cairo was the southern gate in this wall. Moreover, it has twin towers (minarets) which can accessed via a steep climb. In earlier times they used to scout for enemy troops in the surrounding countryside. In modern times, they hailed for providing one of the best views of Old Cairo. The structure also has a famous platform. Executions would sometimes take place there. The Sultan would stand to watch the beginning of the Hajj. He also would see the annual pilgrimage to Mecca from this location. Sometimes the severed heads of criminals would displayed along the tops of the walls. In fact, it done recently in 1811. The severed heads of Mamluks from the Citadel massacre mounted on spikes here.

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The corresponding gate on the northern side of the city was the Bab al-Futuh. Futuh is an Arabic word meaning “opening”. Bab Al-Futuh still stands on the northern side of the Muizz street. Bab Zuweila Cairo featured in a major story from the 13th century. In 1260, the Mongol leader Hulagu was attempting to attack Egypt. After he forced the surrender of Damascus. Hulagu sent six messengers to Qutuz in Cairo, demanding his surrender

To the west of the Bab Zuweila Cairo had been a dungeon, which once imprisoned sheik Amir Al Mu’ayyad. While still a prisoner, he vowed that if he ever released, he will someday destroy the dungeon. Besides, to build a mosque in its place. He released, and rose to become Sultan of all Egypt. Bab Zuweila Cairo has survived from 1092 to the present. It is by accepting layers added to it or letting go of layers subtracted from its original entity. Layers added during later periods usually distinguished from earlier ones. Layers removed tend to leave traces. To “read a wall” is to detect these differences

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Bab El Nasr Cairo

Bab El Nasr Cairo Egypt

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Bab El Nasr Cairo is a massive gate in Cairo, Egypt. In fact, it is one of famous three massive gates. Al Gamali was governor of Acre in 1074. The Fatimid caliph, Al Mustansir called him to put down a revolt. The revolt was of the Turkish military commanders and their troops. After executing the rebels, Al Gamali’s first task was to reinforce the defenses of Cairo. It was besides to rebuild Gawhar’s brick wall, which collapsed. He did so with stone, which marked the beginning of a newly cultivated taste for stone in Cairo. But, it should realized that a considerable amount of stone that he used originated in the Giza necropolis. So this also marks the destruction of many of those Pharaonic monuments around Cairo.

In 1087, Cairo was not much of a fortified city with its sun dried brick walls which built by Gawhar. Though this weakness demonstrated itself on occasions. Badr ad-Din el-Gamali, employed three Christian Syrian monks. One named John the Monk from Edessa. This is to build the three main gateways of the Fatimid wall. These massive gates called Bab Al Futuh (Gate of Conquest), Bab El Nasr Cairo (Gate of Victory) and Bab Zuweila. In fact, the gates mark the southern and northern boundaries of the ancient city. The present Bab El Nasr Cairo replaced the original one, built by Gawhar a little to the south. Badr named it Bab Al Izz (Gate of Glory). The tradition of the people prevailed and its name never actually changed.

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In fact, Bab El Nasr Cairo is the only one of the three major gates of ancient Cairo. In fact, the gates composed of two rectangular towers. Moreover, those of both Bab Al Futuh and Bab Zuweila have rounded towers. Bab El Nasr Cairo towers are solid stone up to the second level. This tower is perhaps the least decorated of the three. Moreover, the inscription over the entrance gives the name of Badr Al Gamali. Above the entrance arch an inscription slab in Kufic carries the shahada with the Shi’a reference to Ali. Furthermore, the towers let the defenders to deliver flanking fire. They also let them trying to scale the wall between the towers. The defenders could move from tower to tower under complete cover. Thus, they can guard rooms, living quarters and supply points.

Moreover, they also make each section of the wall a fortress in itself. Bab El Nase has a significant feature of decoration. It is the the shields and swords that Creswell identifies as Byzantine in shape. In fact, some point downward while others are circular. They no doubt are symbolic of the protection that the walls afford against invaders. In fact, the name, “Gate of Victory,” like Bab Al Futuh, “Gate of Conquest,” should also understood as talismanic. These fine walls, really initially built to protect Cairo from the Seljuk Turks, never challenged by invaders. They were so encroached upon by other buildings which travelers often reported that Cairo had no fortification at all.

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Al Ma’mum Al Bata’ihi was the vizier during the reign of the Caliph Al Amir. He built the Al Aqmar Mosque. Moreover, he transferred the observatory from the Muqattam hill and established it at Bab El Nasr. The transportation of the heavy metal observatory was an difficult task. It needed scaffolds, wheels and a large team of workers and. It also nedded an architectural structure to support it. Al Ma’mun fell into disgrace before the observatory could used. The angry Caliph ordered it to dismounted because it named Al Rasad Al Ma’muni. It attributed it to the vizier rather than to the Caliph.

Bonaparte’s troops used Bab Al Nasr Cairo to protect themselves from the rebellious Cairo population. The Husayniyya quarter was famous for its untamed and violent character. It was not easy to subdue. French officer of Polish origin, Schulkowky, killed by a Husayniyya resident. That is why the French troops bombarded the Husayniyya from these walls. They demolished the district. French officers’ names still carved near the upper level of the gates. The French blocked up the crenelations at the top and enlarged the arrow slits for canon holes.

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The other towers of the northern wall, Napoleon’s troops renamed the eastern tower Tour Corbin. The western one Tour Julien, after two of his aides-de-camp. Of course, these names left with the French. Creswell also attributes the Machicoulis at Bab Al Nasr Cairo, to the French. Machicoulis is a protruding structure used to spill burning liquids on attackers. It was not until the 20th century that the walls cleared of various obstructions. It is including more modern buildings and made visible again. Apart from being great representatives of Islamic military architecture, all three of these gates particularly important. They are among the few examples of military work predating the Crusades.

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Bab Al Futuh Cairo

Bab Al Futuh Cairo Egypt

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Bab Al Futuh Cairo built in 1087 by Badr al-Gamali. In fact, it replaced an earlier gate placed somewhat to the South. Moreover, it included in the original enclosure wall of Gawhar. The given name to Bab Al Futuh Cairo was Bab al-Iqba. The populace transferred the name of the old gate to the new. During Napoleonic times this called the Tour Lescale. In 1087, Cairo was not much of a fortified city with its sun dried brick walls. This weakness demonstrated itself on occasions. Badr Al Din El Gamali, the visor of El Mustansir, employed three Syrian brothers from Edessa. It was to build the three main gateways of the Fatimid wall. They made of stone which was to provide fortification. These massive gates called the Bab (gate) Al Futuh, El Nasr Gate and Zuweila Gate.

In fact, Bab Al Futuh Cairo, or Gate of Conquest consists of a huge vaulted opening. Moreover, it carved from a massive block of stone and flanked by two rounded towers. The masonry considered to be finer than that of the southern gate (Bab Zuweila). Furthermore, it marks the northern boundary of the old Fatimid City. In past times, the great caravan of pilgrims returned each year from Mecca. It enters this gate and making their way to the Citadel. Today, the entrance appears squat. In fact, this is due to the base of the gate being sixteen feet below street level. The interior of the gate is accessible. One may traverse the wall either on top or from within to the more eastern Bab Al Nasr.

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In fact, the construction of Bab Al Futuh Cairo is lik Bab al-Nasr. Moreover, the structure solid for two-thirds of its height. In fact, the form is different. The flanking towers of the gate are 23 m high from original ground level. They have rounded fronts and the bases rest on chamfered rectangular plinths. Furthermore, each tower decorated with an arched panel on the front and on the sides. Only the latter decorated with an inner ring of cushion voussoirs. The three arrows slits in a rectangular panel surrounded by a continuous molding. Moreover, it runs around the tower across the gateway and onto the other tower. The great arch of the gateway decorated with a carved lattice pattern. It is inside the lozenges of which are flowers and geometrical motifs. Above, eight decorated brackets which support a stone shelf running between the towers.

In fact, this supports a shallow arch above. Moreover, it is a large rectangular panel which pierced by five round-arched openings. Across the top a small corbel supported on brackets. The whole structure crowned with round-headed crenellations. Inside the latticed arch the gate spanned by a flat massive joggled lintel. Under the great arch an elaborate voussoir with carved keystone. Behind the doorway a tunnel-vaulted passage leads into the porch. This covered (unlike the Bab al-Nasr) with a shallow dome on pendentives. On each side is a vaulted recess. At the inner end of the porch is a great arch with 27 voussoirs. At the summit of the rear face, there is a molding carried around the flanks of the gate. Inside each tower is a long vaulted room.

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Amr Ibn Al Aas mosque Cairo Egypt

Amr Ibn Al Aas mosque Cairo Egypt

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Amr Ibn Al Aas Mosque Cairo is the first and oldest mosque which built on the land of Egypt. In fact, the mosque of Amr Ibn Al Aas erected in 642 AC by Amr Ibn Al Aas. He was the commander of the Muslim army that conquered Egypt. Amr Ibn Al Aas Mosque Cairo also known as Taj Al Jawamie (Crown of Mosques. It also Known as Al Jamie Al Ateeq (the Ancient Mosque). And it also known as Masjid Ahl Al Rayah (Mosque of Banner Holders). Amr Ibn Al Aas Mosque Cairo built on the site of Amr Ibn Al Aas’s tent at Fustat. It is the oldest existing mosque, not just in Cairo, but the entire African Continent. Amr Ibn Al Aas Mosque Cairo located north of the Roman Fortress of Babylon. It actually on the edge of Fustat, the temporary city founded by Amr.

In fact, it was an Islamic learning center long before Al Azhar Mosque. Moreover, it could hold up to 5,000 students. Amr Ibn Al Aas Mosque Cairo built on an area of 1,500 square cubits, overlooking the Nile. The initial structure was quite simple; with walls bare of any plaster or decorations. But it was without niche (Miharb), minaret or ground cover. It had two doors on the north and two others facing Amr’s house. Amr Ibn Al Aas Mosque Cairo area remained unchanged until 672. When Musallama Al Ansari undertook expansion and renovation works for the mosque. He was Egypt’s ruler on behalf of Caliph Mu’awiya Ibn Abi Sufian. Walls and ceilings decorated. Four compartments for “muezzins” (callers for prayers) added at the corners.

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They are together with a minaret, while the mosque ground covered with straw mats. In 698, Amr Ibn Al Aas Mosque Cairo demolished and expanded by Abdul Aziz Ibn Marwan, Egypt’s ruler. Once again in 711, the mosque demolished by Prince Qurrah Ibn Shuraik Al Absi, Egypt’s ruler. Upon the orders of Caliph Al Waleed Ibn Abdul Malek, the mosque area enlarged. A niche, a wooden pulpit, compartment and copings of four columns gold-coated. The mosque had then four doors to the east, four to the west and three to the north. Under the Abbasid state, successive additions and repairs introduced. In 827, Abdullah Ibn Taher, Egypt’s ruler on behalf of Caliph Al Ma’moun ordered an equal area to the north.

That is to added to the mosque, thus bringing its total area to its present level of 13,556,25 square meters. (112.3 m x 120.5 m). The Fatimid period was the gold era for Amr Ibn Al Aas Mosque Cairo. Gilted mosaics, marble works, a wooden compartment and a moving pulpit introduced. A part of the niche was silver-coated. The last structural amendments in Amr Ibn Al Aas Mosque Cairo made during the rule of Murad Bey. It was under the ottoman era, in 1797 AC. There was a collapse of some columns. That is why the interior of the mosque demolished and rebuilt. As a result, eastern arcades re-positioned to be perpendicular to the Mihrab wall. Arches extended across windows. Two minarets built and are still extant.

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Amr Ibn Al Aas Mosque Cairo was not only a place of worship. In fact, it also served as a court for settling religious and civil disputes. Teaching circles organized either for general religious preaching or teaching lessons. It was in Quranic sciences and jurisprudence. Moreover, it also was in Prophet Muhammad’s Tradition (Hadith) as well as letters. Amr Ibn Al Aas Mosque Cairo incorporates elements of Greek and Roman buildings. It has 150 white marble columns and three minarets. Its present plan consists of an open Sahn (court). Sahn surrounded by four Riwaqs, the largest being the Qiblah Riwaq. There are many wooden plaques bearing Byzantine carvings of leaves. An enclosed column has transported from Mecca on the orders of Prophet Mohammad himself. There are many other ancient legions which related to the Mosque.

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Amir Sarghatmish madrasa mosque Cairo

Amir Sarghatmish madrasa Cairo Egypt

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Amir Sarghatmish madrasa, mosque and mausoleum located in Saliba Street in Cairo. In fact, they are just behind Ibn Tulun mosque. The Gayer Anderson museum located to one side of that mosque. Amir Sarghatmish Madrasa located on the other side. Madrasa is an Arabic word means school. In the Islamic era, it support of higher Qur’anic studies, prophetic traditions and jurisprudence. Seif ad-Dim Sarghatmish was a Mamluk. He acquired by Sultan Al-Nasir Mohammad. As was the custom at the time, he called al-Nassiri as a tribute to his mater. He grew up in the corps of jamdars or keepers of the wardrobe. Amir Sarghatmish was handsome man. He came to prominence during the reigns of al-Nasir’s minor sons. It was when he took an active part in the battles waged on their behalf.

In fact, he was one of the principle agents of Sultan Hassan’s return to power. Afterwards, he ruled the country on Hassan’s behalf. In fact, Sultan Hassan tired of this and had him imprisoned and then murdered in 1358. He buried under the dome of his Madrasa. Saliba Street is a rather narrow lane with lots of traffic. The redevelopment of Cairo Citadel to the transformation of this zone into an urban area. It was under Sultan Al- Nasser Mohammad leadership. Moreover, Saliba Street became a major thoroughfare. Princes built town houses, palaces, mosques and schools in the area. Amir Sarghatmish madrasa and mosque attached to the northeast wall of Ibn Tulun Mosque. There were houses which built in this area and destroyed by Prince Sarghatmish in 1356. So he could build his mosque and madrasa.

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In fact, Amir Sarghatmish madrasa is a good example of the type of Islamic foundation. Amir Sarghatmish madrasa built especially for the teaching of the Hanefite rite of Islam. It was a major merging place for the rite’s leaders. They mainly came from Persia. This was why Persian architecture can seen in Amir Sarghatmish madrasa. It is besides to the Mamluk style. There were one senior and three junior professors appointed. Moreover, sixty students enrolled. There was also an orphanage school that established as an annex. It accommodated forty children. Moreover, it directed by a teacher and an assistant. The teacher taught them Quran, calligraphy and arithmetic.

In fact, Amir Sarghatmish madrasa is a rectangular in shape with many windows. Moreover, the windows covered with white rock screens. The southwest facade facing Ibn Tulun mosque. It has shops beneath it. In fact, the main facade is on the west side, with a stalactite portal and a minaret. On the main facade are two black mashraheyya windows which are beautiful and well crafted. On the southwestern side of Amir Sarghatmish madrasa is a mausoleum. The mausoleum does not adjoin the prayer hall. That is why it can face the main street. Moreover, the dome of the mausoleum has a high drum. It is with the remains of an inscription band and a cornice of stalactites underneath the dome. This is the earliest extant example of a dome with stalactites on the exterior.

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The transition zone of the dome is not visible from the exterior. The profile of the dome differs from the common type in lacking a pointed top. It is double shelled with an inner shell lower than the outer one. A device used in the mausoleums of Samarkand beginning in the Timurid period. The minaret placed to the left of the entrance. It built of white and red stone. It has three stories. The lowest of which is octagonal. Furthermore, it surmounted by a cornice that supports the first level. This first story has reduced to just a base set on inclined or prismatic triangles. The second story is also octagonal and terminates with a similar stalactite cornice. It supporting the second level. The third story has eight marble columns, bearing the bulb. On the first story, the two-colored inlaid masonry forms a sunrise motif.

There is a zigzag motif on the second story. On the second story there is only one small decorative balcony. It is where there are usually four, one on every second facet of the octagon. The huge portal of Amir Sarghatmish madrasa, designed like Sultan Hassan’s gigantic gates. It differs from other of the same period. It has stalactite pendentive triangles at the two corners. They are between the semi-dome and the rectangular recess. Above the Maxalas (stone benches), on both sides of the entrance, runs a band of inscriptions. It contains the name of the founder and the date of completion. After one passes through this gate, there is a small, twisting corridor. It has some beautiful lanterns and leads to the main open air court.

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Amir Sarghatmish mosque built according to a cruciform plan. It consists of open air court which called Sahn. It surrounded by four Iwans. The largest being the Qibla one. It consists of three bays. The middle one of which covered by a lofty dome resting on wooden stalactite pendentive. One of these Iwans covered with a large piece of green cloth and reserved for women. The Sahn, paved with colored marble. It is amazing especially for its bold, black and white floor and the windows in the buildings all around it. The space between the sides of the four Iwans and the corners of the sahn occupied by students’ cells. It is where they slept and studied. The side Iwans are of considerable size. So, they are not like the cruciform madrasas of Qalawun and al-Nasir Muhammad.

It leave little room on the lateral sides of the courtyard for the student living units. Some of the living units overlook the street, while others open onto the courtyard. This marks the beginning of the tendency to integrate madrasas into urban life. Situated in the center of the Sahn a domed water fountain. It surrounded by eight marble pillars. The only part reaming of the old fountain are the eight marble columns. Actually this is not the original fountain or dome but. It is suppose to be a good reproduction of the original one, though the dome itself is new. Parts of the damaged marble floor of the water fountain dismantled and restored.

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Missing fragments of Qur’anic texts embellishing the Sarghatmish mosque have replaced. The authentic white and black marble floor has cleaned and missing pieces replaced. The Qibla Iwan contains the Mihrab and the Minbar. It is typical as the largest one in the madrasa. The prayer hall has carved marble slabs. Some of which are in the Islamic Museum. The others are in another mosque in the neighborhood. The decorations on these slabs are floral. One of them has an interesting composition of arabesques with two hands. They hold a stalk, a lamp and birds. The marbles with animal representations and grapes found under the floor of Amir Sarghatmish madrasa. One of the slabs near the prayer niche has a medallion at its center.

It has an inscription with the founder’s name as well as a blazon of Sarghitmish. It also has a handkerchief, symbol of his function as jamdar, or amir in charge of the royal wardrobe. The functions of the various Amirs (Princes) represented in their blazons. It was common during the Bahri Mamluk Period. These blazons symbolized their functions at the royal court. Examples we can see today include a sword on the gate of the sword-carrier Manjaq al-Silahdar. They also include polo sticks carved at the mosque of Amir Almalik al-Juqandar. Moreover, they also include the polo master, a cup at the madrasa of Iljay al-Yusufi. They include also the Wakala of Qusum, who were cup bearers.

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The earliest example of a blazon on a Cairo building is a pair of lions facing each other. It is on Al-Zahir Baybars’ madrasa at Nahhasin. In this case, the emblem represented his name. Baybars can translated at lion. At the back of Qibla Iwan is the Mihrab which in colored marble. In fact, it situated in the middle of a marble dado. It is remarkable for two panels of white marble. Each of which engraved with raised ornamentation. It is in the form of a medallion in the center and four quarter medallions at the corners. There are two bands of inscriptions. One in the upper part and the other in the lower part of each panel. In fact, they bear the name of the founder. They echo the brass linings of the doors of some other Mamluk mosques. The Mihrab decoration is rather simple but nicely done.

In fact, The dome of the Mihrab is the oldest remaining one of a madrasa in Cairo. Moreover, it restored in 1940 using old photographs, after having collapsed. Furthermore, a dome over a Mihrab is an architectural feature. It forms a unique feature which distinguishes it from earlier and later ones. This dome does not have a double shell, as the dome of the mausoleum, though it has a high drum. We do not know whether the original dome had a double shell or not. The dome supported on wooden pendentives and covers the central bay of the prayer hall. Two flat-roofed bays on each side of the domed area. The minbar dates to 1706 and it constructed from fine brown wood. It has a golden Arabic inscription written above its door.

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There is also the name of the founder of the Minbar which given as Ahmed Azban. The date of the foundation which written in the Hegry calendar as 1118 H. It is a fine piece of Islamic art. Amir Sarghatmish madrasa features huge amazing lanterns. They hang all about the iwans. They made out of pure Egyptian brass and adorned. There is one huge lantern in each Iwan. On the far side of the northwestern Iwan is a door. It opens into the mausoleum, in the center of which is a cenotaph of fine craftsmanship. The domed area does not overlook the street. Adjoining it is a rectangular space which cross-vaulted and has windows. A similar device used at the mausoleum of Baybars al-Jashankir.

In both cases, this explained by the street alignment on one side and the Mecca orientation of the dome. Moreover, it is also in its relationship to the rest of the building on the other side. The mausoleum had a colored marble dado, of which a few fragments remain. Inside the floor covered with white and brown marble. There is a huge dome above the tomb of the Prince, which itself is plain. The dome is high and beautiful with a huge lantern hanging from its center. This dome built in 1940 to replace the old one, which demolished at the end of the nineteenth century. Amir Sarghatmish madrasa features exotic character of the domes. They associated with its dedication to Persian students. Though several similar domes found at Samarkand in Transoxia.

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In fact, all these examples are of a later date which built around the year 1400. There is no doubt though that these domes had a foreign prototype. They did not belong to a Cairene tradition. Furthermore, double-shell domes were common in Persia. A common prototype in Persia is the origin of both the Samarkand and Sarghitmish domes. A similar situation seen in Ibn Tulun Mosque. In fact, it is where features taken from Samarra mosques. And in the minaret of al-Nasir Mohammad at Cairo Citadel. Its Persian origins likewise cannot demonstrated in surviving structures. The double-shell dome built once more in Cairo at the Sultaniyya mausoleum.

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Qanibay Amir Akhur complex Cairo

Qanibay Amir Akhur Complex

Qanibay Amir Akhur Complex Cairo information, tours, prices, booking

Qanibay Amir Akhur complex belongs to Qanibay Al Sayfi. In fact, he was grand master of the horses during the reign of Sultan Al Ghuri. He also known as Al-Rammah because he was famous for his horsemanship and using spears. Al Rammah is an Arabic word means the lancer. Qanibay Amir Akhur complex sometimes known as madrasa of Qanibay Qura Al Rammah. In fact, it features a madrasa, mosque and a Sabil-Kuttab. The Mamluk era varied creative features to the already diverse and expressive Islamic Architecture. Moreover, Mamluk early buildings followed the traditional plans and designs. The Islamic architectural reached its most significant achievements during the Mamluk time. Qanibay Amir Akhur complex built in 1503 AD in Cairo. It built on a hill overlooking Sultan Hassan mosque and Al Rifai mosque.

Qanibay Amir Akhur complex indeed has a unique location. It lies in Salah El Din Square opposite Bab Al Azab. Baba Ala Azab is one of the city gates. This gate lies next to the Horse market. Moreover, it leads to the Sultans horse stables. It located in the citadel grounds just off the square. The important complexes usually built on main streets. Designers often faced with most irregular plots of land. Creative architectural solutions required to do a successful building. One of these cases seen in the Qanibay madrasa. It built on stepped rocky ground. This conflict overcame by erecting the complex on storerooms and the madrasa basement. That is why the various parts of the facade would be at the same height.

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It took full advantage of the view and at the same time exposing the mosque to the crowds below. For this reason, the building considered a suspended mosque. The mosque and madrasa occupy the upper floor while the Sabil is on the left of the entrance. It is above which located the Kuttab. Moreover, the mosque and madrasa reached by an exterior staircase. It is on the main south eastern facade. And then through a trilobed vaulted portal. Qanibay Amir Akhur complex has a long main facade overlooking the square. It consists of the same elements used in Mamluk architecture . They are such as rectangular niches that differ according to the function behind them.

Furthermore, the rectangular niche of the entrance has two sitting decks on the sides. It topped with calligraphic bands. It composed of a trilobed arch crowned by another taking the shape of trefoil leaves. As for the rectangular niche of the qibla iwan, it has two windows in each. The Sabil facade consists of a large rectangular window. It surmounted by four small wooden window screens. Qanibay Amir Akhur complex has a bent entrance leading to a vestibule. It isolating it from the exterior and working as a distribution space to all the elements of the complex. The vestibule has a beautiful wooden ceiling supported on stalactite frieze with colored ornaments.

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In fact, the madrasa follows the traditional Qaa plan. Moreover, it marked for the extravagance and richness of its interior golden decorations. It composed of an open central Durqaa (hall). Furthermore, it surrounded by two perpendicular Iwans and another two side ones. Facing the Qibla Iwan, is a stone Mihrab. It worked with various ornaments, a wooden Minbar and two bands of Quranic inscriptions. The Qibla Iwan roofed by a shallow vault on pendentives. The Iwan on the opposite side covered by a cross vault. Limestone used for building external and inner walls of the madrasa. The mausoleum occupies the corner of the adjacent building to the Qibla Iwan. It can reached from the Durqaa through the southeast door. The internal walls cl-added with marble and it has a Mihrab facing it with two side wall cupboards.

The mausoleum dome rests on four pendentives decorated. It is with seven rows of Muqarnas (stalactites). It is also with a drum containing sixteen arched windows topped by the calligraphic text. This dome has amazing arabesque carving patterns and floral forms seen from the outside. The minaret, located to the left of the entrance as a landmark. It consists of two pedestals. They are one on top of the other separated by rows of stone Muqarnas which carry the balconies. This minaret is a style that appeared in the end of the Mamluk era. It is the oldest of its kind. It is a twin-topped minaret rather than the usual one head. The double type minarets also used afterwards in Al Ghouri Mosque and Al Azhar Mosque.

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Qanibay Amir Akhur complex minaret has a square lower and middle section. The upper section composed of two rectangular bodies with an arched recess on each side. Both surmounted by a Mamluk dome ending with a post. They crowned by a spherical bulb form domes and crescent. Prince Qanibay Qura Al Rammah known to be fond of architecture and construction. He also built a madrasa in Al Naseriyya. Prince Qanibay died in 1515 A.D. He buried in the madrasa at Qanibay Amir Akhur complex. In fact, Qanibay Amir Akhur complex first restored in 1895. And then in 1939 by the French Commission for the conservation of Arab Monuments.

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Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo Egypt

Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo Egypt

Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo, Egypt tours, booking

Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo was the royal mosque of both the Citadel and Cairo itself. In fact, Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo built by Sultan Al Nasir Muhammad in Cairo citadel. It was during his third and longest reign in 1340. The Sultans (kings) of Cairo performed their Friday prayers in it, except on religious feasts. In feasts, prayer took place in a large gathering at the hippodrome beneath the Citadel walls. Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo was large enough to hold five thousand worshipers. Moreover, the main entrance to Al Nasir Muhammad is across the entrance to the courtyard of Mohammad Ali mosque. The Citadel always had a mosque. Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo is like most of the buildings which built on the site of a previous building.

In fact, there were several mosques in Cairo Citadel. Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo was one of the most glamorous in Cairo. It was until the original dome covered with green tile over the nine-bay Maqsura. Maqsura is a private area in the prayer hall. In fact, it usually enclosed by a wood screen for the ruler and his entourage. It collapsed in the sixteenth century. Furthermore, the marble carried off by the Ottoman conquerors. In fact, Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo founded in 1318. It pulled down and rebuilt on a larger scale in 1335. This hypo-style mosque built as a regular free-standing rectangle around a courtyard. It was with a large dome covering the prayer niche area. Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo has three entrances. One is on the northeastern side with a trilobed shallow recess. Moreover, another one is on the northwestern wall with a stalactite portal.

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The third entrance is on the southern wall. It adorned with a pointed arch including a sun-rise motif in Ablaq masonry. None of the entrances has a Maksala or bench, making them the exception to the rule in Cairo. The facades of Al Nasir Muhammad mosque not paneled. They have no decoration except crenellation. The appearance is rather austere. It is except for the two exotic minarets at the northeast corner and at the northwest portal. They decorated with blue and green faience mosaics. Moreover, the minaret to the north directed its call to prayer to the officers and soldiers dwelling there. The other minaret faced the sultans’ palaces. The northern minaret is the taller of the two. That is why it could seen by the palace house some distance away. Both minarets built of stone.

The western minaret is conical, with a shaft which carved in a deep zigzag motif. It is vertical on the first story and horizontal on the second. It has no openings and has a garlic-shaped bulb resting on a ribbed, tapered cylinder. The whole upper structure covered with green, white and blue faience mosaics. It is like those which found at Al Nasir’s Sabil attached to the madrasa. In fact, this madrasa (school) built by his father, Qalawun. A Quranic inscription band made of white faience mosaic adorns the nick of the bulb. This minaret continues the Cairene tradition of placing minarets at the portals of foundations. The minaret at the northeastern corner of the mosque has a completely different shape. The base is rectangular and the second story is cylindrical.

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In fact, both are without carving. Its upper part has an open hexagonal pavilion. Moreover, it supports the top of the structure, which is like the top of the western minaret. Both minarets have balconies adorned with parapets. They made of stone panels pierced with arabesques. Furthermore, they carved in the same technique used to make the screens of Sanjar. The crenelation around the base of the bulbous is the earliest which known experimentation. This is with technique at the base of a Cairene dome. A craftsman from Tabriz came to Cairo during the reign of Al Nasir Muhammad. He was the one who built other minarets covered with faience, as was the fashion in Persia. The bulb shape also came from Tabriz technique, but also the bulb shape, seem to have come from Tabriz. Both minarets also have another common feature.

It distinguishes them from all other Mamluk minarets. Moreover, their base is below the level of the roof of the mosque. It is when the roof of the mosque rebuilt, the minarets were already standing. On the northern wall of Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo underneath the minaret is a small balcony. It reached by a staircase inside the mosque. Its function is unknown. One may speculate that it intended for prayers or recitations addressed. This is to overflow crowds of worshipers outside Al Nasir Muhammad mosque. Furthermore, the interior of Al Nasir Muhammad mosque follows the hypo-style scheme. It is with the standard pattern of a rectangular courtyard. A sanctuary on the Qibla side and arcades surrounding its other three sides.

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In fact, within Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo, the walls supported by the arcades. They have a row of arched windows that give the building a special character. These windows must added when the roof raised. The openings help reduce the thrust carried by the arches, admit light and are ornamental as well. The voussoirs of the Al Nasir Muhammad’s arcades composed of ablaq masonry. They are of the same stone, but painted. The ceiling over the arcades is flat. It covered with traces of its light blue. In fact, the silver decorations are still visible. The crenelation around the courtyard is of the stepped type. It differs from the outer crenelation composed of rectangles. It is with rounded tops like those of the city and Citadel walls. At the corners near the crenelations of the courtyard are four decorative structures. They are like the Mabkhara (incense burner) minaret tops.

A special collection of pre-Islamic capitals crowns the marble columns of the mosque. The two pairs of Coptic Christian capitals at the main entrance are particularly interesting. Their white marble carved with a basket pattern. There are also capitals dating to the Greek and Roman periods. Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo had many large iron-grilled windows that now walled up. It also paneled with high marble dados. They later removed by Sultan Selim. They shipped to Istanbul with other marbles from the palace. The Qibla wall completely restored. The ground level inside the Citadel has risen. Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo was a much higher level and reached by a staircase.

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The present dome of Al Nasir Muhammad mosque Cairo is modern. It carried by granite columns like those of the Citadel palaces. These columns taken from ancient Egyptian temples. The original dome, like many others in Cairo, made of plastered wood. The transition zone consists of pendentives carved with stalactites. They, together with the inscription band referring to the founder, painted and gilded. During the later Mamluk period, the stalactite squinches supplanted by stalactite pendentives. Pendentives are triangles at the corners of the transitional zone of a dome. They transfer the thrust of the dome to the corners of the four walls. The squinches are arches or quarter-domes. They transfer the thrust into the middle of each of the four walls.

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Al Zahir Barquq Madrasa & Mausoleum Cairo

Al Zahir Barquq Madrasa and Mausoleum Egypt

Al Zahir Barquq Madrasa, Mosque, Mausoleum

Al Zahir Barquq Madrasa stands next to Sultan Al Nasir Muhammad madrasa. It is in a street called Al Mu’izz in Nahhasin district in Islamic Cairo. In fact, Al Zahir Barquq Madrasa dates back to 1384. Madrasa is an Islamic school teaches Islamic religion. The architect Shihab al Din Ahmad belonged to a family of court architects and surveyors. Moreover, he was in charge of part of the construction. Jarkas al Khalili was master of Barquq’s horse and the founder of the famous Khan El-Khalili. His name appears in the inauguration inscription. The name is on the facade and courtyard of Al Zahir Barquq Madrasa. The founder of Al Zahir Barquq Madrasa was Sultan Barquq. In fact, he was of Circassian origin, recruited under the Turkish Bahri Mamluks.

The Circassians were subjects of the Tatar Golden Horde. They were first imported to Egypt as slave troops by Qalawun in the thirteenth century. In fact, Barquq freed in 1363. He established his dominance in the Mamluk government in 1382. It was when he seized power through a series of intrigues and assassinations. Moreover, he began recruiting Circassian Mamluks from Caucasus. Egyptian history references the following era as the Circassian Mamluk period. These Mamluks garrisoned at the Citadel. It is where also called the Burji or Burgi Mamluks. Sultan Barquq sought to legitimize his rule by associating himself with the previous dynasty. In fact, he bequeathed a legacy from Bahari Mamluk. It was fending off the Crusaders and Mongols. It was also espousing Sunni Islam.

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Sultan Barquq established himself by marrying Baghdad Khatun. She was a widow of Sultan Sha’ban, one of the last descendants of Sultan Qalawun. Al Zahir Barquq ordered the construction of a funerary foundation for his family. To emphasize the continuity, he chose a site next to the early Qalawunid monuments. In fact, Al Zahir Barquq madrasa set the tone for architectural decoration in Cairo. It was between 1400 and 1450. Moreover, Al Zahir Barquq madrasa was teaching the four rites of Islam. Moreover, it has a Friday mosque and a mausoleum. The madrasa was also a Khanqah for Sufis. Furthermore, Al Zahir Barquq madrasa housed one hundred and twenty-five theology students and sixty Sufis. It had living quarters for the teachers and stables for their horses.

The facade of Al Zahir Barquq madrasa paneled with recesses surmounted by stalactites. Moreover, the upper windows pointed arches as well as wooden grills. This is a style that can seen in several mosques of the Bahri Mamluk period. The dome next to the minaret is not original. The two structures seem to be in harmony. Furthermore, the original dome was a wood and plaster structure. In fact, the dome collapsed in the nineteenth century. Al Zahir Barquq madrasa had theme of illustrations. These illustrations made it possible to reconstruct the dome. The new dome made of brick. Though the dome’s surface is plain and there is a cornice of stalactites at its base. This feature seen at the mausoleum of Sarghatmish.

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An octagonal minaret recognizable at great distance. It is by its solid overlapping roundels and column-supported galleries. In fact, it is also by onion shaped copper finial. The minaret of Al Zahir Barquq mosque is completely octagonal. Moreover, it differs from most of the other fourteenth century minarets. There are intersecting circles where white marble inlaid in the stone. This design maybe inspired by the intersecting arches at the top of the minaret of Qalawun. Just as in the Qalawun mausoleum, the facade of the minaret on its lower part has columns. They attached to the wall. These columns with their capitals carved parts of the wall masonry. The capitals themselves are unusual. One of them adorned with a stylized ram’s head.

A trilobite stalactite portal graces the facade. To the north of the portal is a large dome which flanked by a minaret. This high, rectangular and offset entrance is next to Al Nasser’s Madrasa. Moreover, The original bronze door adorned with geometric stars inlaid with silver. Barquq’s name is visible on the raised boss of the center star. In fact, Barquq means plum in the Egyptian dialect. The recess of the portal decorated with a large rectangular panel. It is with inlaid marble, also reminiscent of that at Sultan Hassan’s vestibule. The mosque retains many of its original windows, doors and other furniture. A bent entrance leads through a corridor to the cruciform interior. This vaulted passage has a recess on the left side. It used for water jugs, kept fresh by a wooden lattice door that is now missing.

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In fact, there are four Iwans face the courtyard. They have four large pointed arches. Moreover, above the arches, a large inscription carved in stone. The open court paved with marble mosaic and features large porphyry disks. The ablution fountain situated in the center of the courtyard. It has a bulbous wooden dome on eight marble columns. It is also like that in Sultan Hassan Mosque. The inauguration of this specific mosque, the ablution fountain filled with sugared water. The sweetmeats distributed to the congregation. During this period, the the sultan attended the first day of prayers. It was the traditional inauguration ceremonies of a mosque. The tripartite sanctuary has two pairs of granite columns on each side. They separate the central, large aisle from the side aisles.

The sanctuary has an un-vaulted wooden ceiling. Moreover, it painted and gilded due to a modern restoration. The Qibla wall, to the right, decorated with a marble dado and marble prayer niche. The Qibla Iwan was once lit with enameled mosque lamps that are today at the Islamic Museum. The current ones are replicas. The entrances to the four Madrasas pierced in recesses. The upper part of the recesses form round arches with zigzag. A device that can also be seen in the Roda Nilometer. We find a new feature on the doors inside Al Zahir Barquq Madrasa. It is a central bronze medallion. There are also four quarter circles of medallions at the corners. They leave the wood background to contrast with the bronze.

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Even the bronze appliques pierced to show the wood background. This pattern of decoration, common in carpets, adopted from book bindings. The living units for the students all open onto interior passages. It is because there is no space on the facade or the courtyard. The Waqf deed refers to this complex as a Madrasa-Khanqah. Its dwelling units as a rab’, a term usually used to denote collective housing. On the north side of the prayer hall a door communicates with a vestibule. It is with a stone bench that leads into the mausoleum. The dome above the mausoleum has wooden pendentives. It painted and gilded with the usual decorations.

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