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Sabil-Kuttab of Sultan Qaytbay

The Sabil-Kuttab of Sultan qaytbay is sixty meters up El Sheikh Mohamed Abdu Street few meters away from El-Azhar Mosque. It is the 1st Sabil in Cairo that is not attached to a larger complex as a mosque or a Madrasa. The charitable noblemen at that time were usually establishing the Salabil to provid the passersby with cold water, and the Kuttab as a place for Studying Quran. The Sabil can be considered as a good model for the later Mamluk period style of decoration. This appears clearly in the rich decoration of several parts of it such as the gracefully colored portal, the areas between the Sabil’s windows, and the base of the Kuttab. The facades of the complex is luxuriously ornamented with marble veneer and carved roundels and nice lintels.The Sabil can also be reached through a backdoor. Inside the Sabil one can find a platform that covers the twin cistern used for storing the water for the Sabil that was usually filled with water once a year at the time of the Nile flood. The Salsabil which is a vast cistern for storing water is made of carved marble and placed in the ground floor of the Sabil. In addition to the great role that the cistern played in aerating the water, it was considered as a beautiful natural scene as well. The building was restored several times and in 2001, the 2nd and 3rd floors were dedicated to Suzanne Mubarak Center for Islamic Civilization.

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