“The Mamluk Desert” .. a witness to the development of Egyptian architecture | Gulf newspaper

Cairo: «The Gulf»

The “Mamluk Desert” is one of the richest Egyptian regions in Islamic antiquities, due to the presence of a large number of mosques, “Khanaqs” and their fountains, which date back to the Mamluk era, which was famous for its special architectural aesthetics, through a group of kings and sultans builders such as Muhammad ibn Qalawun, Qaitbay, Qunswa Al-Ghouri, Al-Ashraf Barsbay and others.

One of the most famous archaeological groups in the region is the “Sultan Farag bin Barquq Group”, which is one of the largest architectural groups; It combines a mosque for the establishment of religious rites, a khanqah for the establishment of Sufism, a school to receive religious sciences and memorization of the Qur’an, tombs for Sultan al-Zahir Barquq and his family members, in addition to two ways to drink water.

The group is famous for its Mamluk minarets; Where the accuracy of manufacture and the beauty of the architectural proportions, and the abundance of geometric decorations, and the layout of the school and the mosque. The khanqah consists of an open courtyard surrounded by four iwans, the largest of which is the qibla iwan, which consists of three aisles.

There is also the “Karqmas Dome”, which was established by Prince Karkamas, one of the Mamluk princes who worked for Ashraf Qaitbay. The dome is a square building built of carved stone topped by a high dome devoid of decoration, and in the corners there are muqarnas.

As for Khanaqah Al-Ashraf Barsbay, it was built in 1432 AD, and it includes an archaeological group consisting of a Sufi khanqah, a large courtyard, a full dome for his brother, Prince Yashabak, and a chapel for performing rituals, on the north side, and the dome of the prayer hall with a square base topped by rows of muqarnas, then the dome, which is decorated from the outside with delicate geometric inscriptions, and a facade The group contains marble slabs with an indication of the endowments on the soil that he built for his brother in the courtyard of the mosque.

The prayer hall is located on the northern side. It consists of two iwans or the ceiling of the prayer hall carried on two rows of arches. Each row includes three arches carried on two columns of fine marble. It has quadrants surrounded by colorful ministries. The chapel has a stone mihrab that has no decorations.

The area also includes the “Qaytbay Quarter”, which was founded by Sultan Qaytbay in 877 AH – 1472 AD and was dedicated to spending on religious installations. What remains of this quarter – currently – is a facade carved from stone with a set of windows. As for the Qaitbay School, it is one of the most beautiful Islamic architectural groups on the launch.

It consists of a school, a mosque, a sabil, scribes, a mausoleum and a minaret. The layout of the school is a square courtyard topped by a sistrum surrounded by four iwans, the largest of which is the qibla iwan, which overlooks the court by a pointed arch in the form of a “horse-shoe” and on both sides of the court are two small iwans, and the main entrance to the school is located on the side To the north-east and to his right is the minaret, and to his left is the sabil and the book. Sultan Qaytbay has attached a dome to the south to top his tomb.

The group is distinguished by its magnificent decorations, its wooden ceilings decorated with gilded decorations, its windows stuffed with plaster and colored glass, and the floors are painted with colored marble, in addition to the inscriptions that fill the walls, which are Quranic verses.

In the area there is the “Ahmed Abu Yusuf Hospice”, which was built in the ninth century AH, in the era of the Circassian Mamluks, and in the northern corner there is its own path, and it is climbed to its door via a ladder located at the entrance to the hospice.

As for the dome of Jani Bey al-Ashrafi, which was established by Prince Jani al-Ashrafy, one of the kings of Sultan al-Ashraf Barsbay, it is distinguished by its geometric decoration in the form of star dishes.


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