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Al-Ghouri Complex

Al-Ghouri Complex

 

Sultan Qansuh Al-Ghouri was a Mamluk sultan, who had reigned from 1501 to 1516, before dying in a battle against the Ottomans in Aleppo, which resulted in a complete defeat for the Mamluks, due to which they lost their prominence in Egypt.


Al-Ghouri spent a fortune on building his complex in Cairo which dates back to 1503. Although he was renowned for his cruelty and despotism, he was also known for his love of flowers, music, poetry and architecture. His cultural refinement emanates from the different features of the complex.

The construction stands on both sides of Al-Mo'ez Street; the mosque and madrasa stand on the western side, whereas you will find the khanqah, mausoleum and Sabil-Kuttab on the eastern side of the famous street. The mausoleum is however not the final resting place of the Sultan, whose body was never recovered after the Aleppo battle.

The two parts of the complex aren’t adjusted to the street alignment, thus creating a free shaped courtyard in between the two buildings. The mosque’s minaret has four stories, just like the original minaret of the Aqsunqur mosque (the Blue Mosque). These are the only two minarets in Cairo known to have four stories, instead of the usual three.

Since 1995, the complex hosts various cultural events in the Khanqah hall, mostly Nubian music concerts, Tannoura dance performances, and religious recitals.

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