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Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

El-Zahir Barquq Complex.. Architectural Gem in Cairo


Sun 18 Aug 2019 | 01:00 PM
Ahmed Yasser

El-Zahir Barquq complex at El-Moez street is one of the most famous places from the Fatimid Dynasty’s rule in Egypt.

Upon the orders of El-Zahir Barquq, the complex was built in 1384 as one religious complex. It includes a mosque, school, and mausoleum. All were designed to remain as a witness for the grandeur of architecture surviving over hundreds of years.

“El-Zahir Barquq” was a slave purchased by another mamluk and raised to be part of Cairo’s military and ruling elite.

He was of Circassian origin and was purchased by “Yalbugha al-Umari”, a Mamluk emir who ruled Cairo on behalf of “Sultan Shaban”.

El-Zahir Barquq complex

Barquq school includes an old huge building formed out of huge rocks. The building is meant for the accommodation of over 100 students of those who were interested in studying the four Islamic doctrines.

The marble floored entrance was marked by a very high, wide, ventilated opening meant to allow sound echo.

Barquq Mosque has a distinctive octagonal minaret and ceiling of the mosque is decorated with intersecting white and blue marbles in the stones.

Barquq Mosque

The mosque consists of four vaulted spaces with large pointed arches and inscriptions carved in stone. The open court is paved with marble mosaic and features large colored marble disks.

The mausoleum is located underneath one of the four “iwans” to the north side of the prayer hall and dome above the mausoleum has magnificent wooden pendentives. The windows of the mausoleum are of shiny colorful glass that radiates the sun light all day.

It was notable that the doors all over the mosque have two bronze medals of varied sizes to knock on the door. The big medal was used for men, while women used the smaller. This design to avoid contact among men and women.

”Shihab El-Din Ahmed ibn Muhammad El-Tuluni” was the founder of Barquq’s religious complex, As a descendant of a family of architects Tuluni’s architectural experience and creative artistic personality have partaken to leave a mark all over the mosque. The mosque is a piece of art that loudly speaks of the founder grandeur.