The complex of Sultan Qayitbay in the Mamluk Cemetery.

The complex of Sultan Qayitbay in the Mamluk Cemetery.

Cairo

Qayitbay’s complex is one of the most magnificent architectural complexes of Islamic Egypt, representing the strength and wealth of the Mamluk period. The complex displays all the unique architectural features common in the Circassian Mamluk period. It was established by the Mamluk sultan al-Ashraf Qayitbay in 877 AH/ 1472 AD and is located in the desert amidst the Mamluk cemetery.

The complex consists of a school, a sabil, and a kuttab for teaching the Quran to impoverished Muslims. There is also a private burial ground for Sultan Qayitbay’s family. The school is consisting of courtyard surrounded by four iwans, it is one of the most important establishments, both for its architecture and role in society. The engineer responsible for this structure demonstrated consistency, symmetry, and beauty in his execution of the building, paying attention to the finest details. The most important feature of the school is the main entrance, which is made of coloured marble and bears several inscriptions. The door itself was gilded in copper designs. The muezzin’s (the person who is raises azan or call for pray) name is inscribed upon the beautiful minaret.

There are elaborate wooden artefacts within the school. These include a pulpit and a chair for the Qur’an reciter. Both were inlaid with ivory. The sabil-kuttab lies to the left of the school’s entrance. The sabil is characterised by its coloured marble tiles.

Location