Mosque Mausoleum of Sultan El Muayyad Shaykh in Cairo
The Mosque and Mausoleum of Sultan El Muayyad Sheikh lies in the west side of Bab Zuwayla in El Muiz Ledin Allah Street. It was erected by El-Muayyad Shaykh who suffered a lot during his imprisonment for a period in the reign of Sultan Farag and this made him decide on replacing this imprison with a huge incomparable Madrasa if he assumed power someday. He became the Sultan from1412 to 1421 and he constructed a school that was regarded as one of the major educational structures in the 15th century spending a huge amount of money for doing that. The mosque is similar to the other Burgi Mamluk buildings in its huge façade with a remarkable portal and a dome at its end. Of especial interest in this mosque also is the luxurious style of decoration of the sanctuary, the Mihrab, and the Minbar which reflects the spirit of that age.
The most distinguishing feature of that mosque is that it had had four façades surrounding a wide courtyard. In one of the processes of restoration the western façade was renovated and the court was turned into a garden. But in another restoration the garden was removed and the broken-down arcades were rebuilt. The present ceiling of the building that looks like a suspended carpet was added in a 20th century renovation. The trilobed portal of the mosque is finely ornamented with a harmoniously colored frame that surrounds the door, and beautiful stalactites and arabesque patterns. On either sides of the portal one can see marvelous Kufic inscriptions for the Shahada and some Quran verses. The mausoleum of Sultan El-Muayyad and one of his sons stands in one of the corners of the mosque and its dome can be seen nearby the Minaret from outside.
It is beautifully ornamented with marvelous leaf forms that reflect the influence of the Islamic art with a handsome arabesque background script. There is also another funerary chamber for the women of Sultan El-Muayyad's family in the northern corner of the mosque. The dome of this tomb destroyed and it is topped now with a flat roof. In 1839, Ibrahim Pasha, the older son of Mohammed Ali, ornamented the Qibla wall with beautiful tiles. To reach the top of the minaret and see the beautiful scene of the whole area one can use the small door in the corner of the sanctuary. The construction of the beautiful limestone minarets of this mosque ended in 1422. They were designed by a famous architect called El-Muallim Muhammad Ibn El-Qazzaz and his name can be seen on it till now.
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