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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Three Less Commonly Visited Mosques - Part 3, Sultan Qatbay

The third stop on this tour of the Northern Cemetery in the City of the Dead is the mosque of sultan Qaytbay.  You will find this one about 600 yards southwest of our previous stop.  Put "30.0441730, 31.2750830" into your Google search bar to find it on the map.  I'll point out all three of these stops with red arrows on this map.  The green arrow points to the popular tourist stop, Al Azhar Park.

If you follow the most direct walking route from Qurqumas and Sultan Barquq you will pass through some of the narrow winding streets that characterize much of the city.  Do not be alarmed if you find trash on the street!  Once you reach the small open square where the mosque is located, you might recognize it.  Its picture is featured prominently on the Egyptian one-pound note (now obsolete and harder to find.)

Most of the photos of this mosque feature the domes and the minaret on the exterior, but the best features are found inside.  It is a tiny mosque compared to most of the "tourist mosques."

Let's start by taking a look at the main ceiling.

The tiny interior has a number of niches, ceilings, lights and windows.

Leave time to explore the interior and maybe sit for a while.  The stained glass was a bit of a surprise.  It matches up well with what we saw in Coptic Cairo.


There is no explanation that I have been able to locate for the "1314" carefully carved in stone within this mosque.  If I ever find out the significance, I will update this post.  (Or, perhaps, some reader will offer an explanation in the comments!)

If the pictures in these three posts have aroused your curiosity about the Mamluks and their roles as leaders in Egypt, you can find all of the details in tidy academic form in chapter 8 of Volume 2 of The New Cambridge History of Islam.  You can read it online at that link (about 40 pages beginning at page 237) or download the whole volume as a PDF file for your computer, tablet or Kindle.


Aliza said...

Wonderful photos. Make me want to come back to Cairo.

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