Saturday, August 3, 2013

Sultan al-Ashraf Qaytbay Mosque

 Sultan al-Ashraf Qaytbay Mosque

Qaytbay was a Mamluk of Barsbay. A Mamluk was a slave and Qaytbay was purchased for fifty dinars. However, in this strange culture, often we had to start his life as a slave for greatness, and therefore Qaytbay made his way through the ranks to become commander in chief of the army, and finally Sultan. reigns from 1468 through 1496, beaten only by al-Nasir Muhammad record. He was noted for his martial prowess and physical energy, and his relentless financial taxation of his subjects. The two main efforts of his reign were developing relationships with the rise of the Ottomans and the promotion of trade, especially with the Italians.
Qaytbay was a prolific manufacturer of various institutions in Egypt during his reign, as al-Nasir Muhammad in the fourteenth century. In fact, some eighty-five structures were attributed to him in Syria, Palestine, Mecca, Alexandria and Cairo. His reign was long enough to allow specific styles to develop in a number of important monuments he sponsored. It was a period of consolidation, however, rather than innovation, where national architectural ideas have played a more important role than were foreign ideas. It was a golden age of stone carving where the architecture, rather than being huge, stretched towards refinement. Especially on facades, marble work also played an important role in decorating.

the minbar
The monument
Qaytbay is a fine example of architecture during a period when the decorative arts reached their zenith. There was once a vast desert complex that included a shopping center on the main north-south trade route with Syria and the road east-west trade with the Red Sea. The complex, built between 1472 and 1474 AD and now presented in Egyptian One Pound Note, well worth a visit.

 The mosque

The groin vaulted trilobed portal
 Not all the various structures that make up the complex Qaytbay survived, but the best preserved is the mosque, which also included a madrasa with the mausoleum of the founder. It has two freestanding walls, and is actually a fairly small structure compared to many other complex. On the south side is an arched portal groin lobed decorated ablaq marquetry and some stalactites.
Another view of dome
View ourt, and takhtaboush moucharabieh
To the left of the gate is a Sabil-Kuttab, and on the right is a minaret. The rise of the structure on the south side is a small but beautiful dome of the mausoleum. Its surface is decorated with a pattern carved straight star superimposed on another network carved undulating arabesques.

Interior view of the Mihrab and Minbar
A historical perspective of the qibla wall
 The minaret of stone carved with the stars in high relief, is slim and sleek. On the surface, there are two clearly distinct but complex designs. The first is a plain, raised pattern straight star and the other an undulating lace floral arabesques which is grooved and indented. The bulb at the top has a twisted ribbon carved on his neck. This is one of the most beautiful minarets of Cairo, and his turn is provided with an excellent view of the dome. The Sabil, or a fountain, has a gilded wooden ceiling and the hall is a stone bench and cupboard with inlaid wood and ivory doors.

Historically design Geometeric detail
Detail of geometric design
The interior plan of the structure is that of a modified Cairo, urban Phillips madrasa. The umbrella style groin vault above the passageway leading to the interior of the mosque is particularly beautiful. Here there are also doors wooden trellis, where water jugs were kept cool. In two unequal iwans east and west and two recesses. The floor is marble, and is richly decorated with polychrome marble paneling and stucco with colored glass windows. Restoration here included the painted wooden ceiling is alive and wooden lantern above the central area. This limit is a good example of a composite design using the three primary ornamental forms of Islamic art, which include calligraphic designs, geometric and arabesque. Here, the star is important because it is also in Islamic art as a symbol of guidance often mentioned in the Qur'an. The richness of the decoration is amazing, and yet the overall effect is well proportioned and controlled.
Inside the dome of the mausoleum
The prayer niche is stone, inlaid with albaq models is not unlike those of the conch portal (a niche with an oval tray). Around the covered courtyard, corner recesses are decorated with arched niches Keel Windows. There, on the upper space and a band of inscription. The mausoleum is available from the court and the burial chamber is one of the most impressive in Cairo. In his prayer niche is paneled, carved and painted stone. The stone pendants are intricately carved stalactites and large dome seems infinite in its height booming.


Another view of the Dome
Although the foundation deed records various apartments for the Sufis and other attached to the foundation, none of these living units survived. This act also provides for the structure of a madrasa, but it does not specify a systematic program of education in Islamic law. He also noted that the Sufis are required to attend the mosque, but no reference is being made to their residents and there was no known structure in the kitchen. Thus, it was probably a mosque congregation rather ordinary Friday, and these mosques normally held sessions for the Sufis. The use of the term madrasa probably now used by tradition, rather than referring to a specific function. The waqf deed refers to this structure as a Jami '.
Interior view of the northern Iwan
A second small mausoleum built by arabesques sculptures Qaytbay before he became a Sultan is located on the western side of the mosque (some say it was built for his son). It has a small dome, but also flowers and now houses the tomb of Gulshani, a holy man who lived in the mosque during the Turkish period. Other structures include a funeral maq'ad or loggia. It is decorated with a row of windows in the blind arches opening onto the outside of the complex. The maq'ad, a term used for a reception area, is built on site. In addition, there are also the remains of trough for animals decorated with niches carved keel semicircular on the north side of the mosque. It is covered, and the right rear is a saqiya or a wheel that provided water.
The Rab'
Further north is the facade of the rab ', essentially an apartment complex built by Qaytbay. A rab 'can be built above stores or shops in a complex called wakala, qaysariyya, or khan. This particular rab 'has been used to finance part of the waqf income which was used to support the complex and personal. Here, the level of the portal provides evidence of the antiquity of this structure for the rab is buried more than two meters below the current street level. The trefoil arched portal flanked by the arms of the sultan's beautiful. The stores are now buried, but you can get an idea of ​​the architecture of apartments, with their wooden painted ceilings.


Another image of the dome of the main mausoleum
  Qaytbay built another wakala and rab 'above near Bab al-Nasr, and another which is now in ruins near the Al-Azhar mosque.

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