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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

This Old House - Zeinab Khatun Edition

If you approach Khan el-Khalili from the underground parking ramp to the East, you will walk down this street with a great many people and shops along the way.

But, you could also go a couple of blocks to the South, past the el Hussein University Hospital and walk down this less crowded alleyway that takes you to Madrassa el Ainy. (See this Tour Egypt page for a map.)  Our friend and guide, Roshdy Khatab, chose this latter route for our stroll.
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That will also put you by the entrance to the Zeinab Khatun House.
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This is another of the interesting old houses in the city, dating from 1468.  It is very well preserved and perhaps as interesting to tour as the much better known Gayer Anderson house although it lacks the interior furnishings of that home.

We found that we were the first tourists of the day, although a number of local students had been in to visit.

An interior courtyard is one highlight.

A large reception room is another.
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We enjoyed the wood work detail on the doors to the reception room as well as the brass chandelier which currently is home to a live bird at the top.
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The stone work on the floor is well preserved and particularly attractive.
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The views from the top floors are well worth the steep climb of several flights.
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The single piece of furniture currently on display is this item which has two Arabic inscriptions at the top of two of its decorative panels.  The one on the right side translates roughly to "He taught the human beings things which they knew nothing about."

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