Egypt: Cairo: Islamic Monuments - The Barquq Complex

The Barquq Complex


Barquq Complex in Cairo, Egypt


Next door to the al-Nasir complex and near the Sultan Qala'un complex is the Sultan Barquq complex, built in 1384 by the first "tower" or Burgi Mameluke sultan who ruled from 1382 until 1399. This complex includes a cruciform medersa, a khanqa which offered living quarters for the Sufi mystics, and a tomb of one of the sultan's daughters. Even though of late date, the structure continues the traditions of the early Mamluk style. The facade has a distinctive stone entrance of black and white marble, a plain cupola, narrow recessed panels that frame the windows and an octagonal minaret with three balconies. The offset entrance has bronze plated doors inlaid with polygonal silver designs, and Barquq's name appears on a central star. Within is a square chamber which is linked to a courtyard by a vaulted, bending corridor. Within the courtyard is a central fountain surrounded by four liwan with almost symmetrical facades. The ceiling of the qiblah wall is supported by four porphyry columns quarried along the Red Sea coast during pharaonic times. A door next to the north liwan leads to the tomb chamber with its marbled floors, walls of various colors, and painted ceiling. Latticed and stained glass windows, along with ornate wooden stalactites form the corners of the tomb.

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