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Madrasa-Mausoleum of El Saleh Najm El Din Ayyub

The Madrasa-Mausoleum of El-Saleh Nagm El-Din Ayyub locates in El Muiz Le Din Allah Street. It is worth visiting for its value since it was built at the end of the Fatimid and the beginning of the Mamluk period. This complex belongs to Sultan El-Saleh who was the last member of Saladin El-Ayyuby family, the son of Sultan El-Kamil and the husband of Shagarat El-Durr. He played a great role in ruling Egypt until his death in 1249 during the battle against Louis IX. Above the luxuriously decorated portal, one can see the three-story Minaret of the Mosque-Madrasa that is typically designed on the Ayyubid style. This appears clearly in the circular lower base, the octagonal upper part and its keel-arched cap. The beauty of the Minaret is accentuated by the S-curved arches and the ribbed finial of beautiful stalactites. The façade of the mosque is also richly ornamented on the Fatimid style. It has ribbed keel-arched panels handsomely decorated with cusps and stalactites on its either sides. To reach the remains of the interior plan of the Madrasa, one should go through Haret El-Salehiya which is a very lively place including a number of small shops on its sides. The only remaining part of this part is an arched aisle standing in one of the corners of the street. This Madrasa is still worth visiting for its historical value since it is one of the early Mosque-Madrasas that were dedicated to the main four schools of Islamic rites. In addition to its original function as a place for worship and prayer, it was used as a court to which the cases were referred. The Mausoleum of El-Saleh, established by Shagarat El-Durr in the late Ayyubid, marks a shift from the Fatimid style of architecture since it lies in the city not in the cemetery area and is attached to a theology school. It is distinguished by the beautifully ornamented dome that is supported with a stalactite squinch and the beautiful Quran inscriptions of the chamber. Sultan El-Saleh is buried in a handsomely decorated wooden cenotaph. Furthermore, a number of slim marble inlaid panels were added to the Mihrab and the mausoleum later on.

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