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Qalawun Complex

Posted On : 27/02/2023 Kate Clark 50
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This is one of several complexes of Mamluk-era madrasas and mausoleums that can still be found in Sharia Muizz el Deen. The Sultan Baroque Madrasa and Al Nasir Muhammed Mausoleum and Madrasa are also located in Sharia al Muizz, but of these two only the Sultan Baroque Religious School is open to tourists. The Qalawun complex, dating back to 1285, is the oldest and most majestic of these buildings, built in memory of the Mamluk rulers. 

The complex is located in the heart of Islamic Cairo, in a place called Bein al Qasreen, or "Between the Two Palaces' ', so called because of the two Fatimid palaces previously present. Like many Fatimid-era buildings in the city, these palaces were built by successive rulers, who sought to eradicate the influence of the Shia dynasty. In fact, Qala'un had the complex built following the foundation of one of these palaces.

The monument includes a large hospital, a mosque and a madrasa (divided into four rooms, each intended for the teaching of one of the four schools of thought present in Islamic doctrine) and a mausoleum.

The hospital was a rather avant-garde facility in its day, with two thousand beds and various services offered to its patients. In operation until the late Ottoman period (19th century), it was demolished in 1910.

The most significant element of the Qalawun complex is undoubtedly its mausoleum, inspired by the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.

The building was restored as part of the entire Sharia Al Muizz restoration project and now stands out as one of the most beautiful monuments in Cairo. In fact, it is also considered one of the most beautiful monuments in the entire history of Islam, rivaling the famous Taj Mahal in India.

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By Kate Clark

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