Egypt: Cairo: Islamic Monuments - The El-Ghuri Mausoleum

The El-Ghuri Mausoleum

The El-Ghuri Mausoleum, built around 1504 by Sultan Qansuh al-Ghuri, functions today as a cultural center that occasionally produces plays. It is distinguishable from his mosque which is on the adjacent corner by its unfinished cupola and a sabil-kuttab. From the vestibule, the funeral chamber is on the right, and to the left is a prayer hall with three liwans evenly distributed around the raised and covered part of a lantern. This was once part of a khanda, where Sufis came to perform thedikr.

The sabil-kuttab is on the front of the mausoleum, and is said to be a fine example of Mameluke architecture. The facade has stone panels atop three latticed bays, and narrows the street at that point. To the south, the minaret of the mosque narrows the street there, so that a "square" is formed between the two structures, and was the site of the silk bazaar. The two structures together, the mausoleum and mosque, have been referred to as one of the most impressive complexes in Cairo. The interior of the sabil-kuttab is highly decorative, with marble floors and ceiling supported by rounded, painted and gilt beams.