Madrasa wa Qubbat wa Bimaristan al-Sultan Qalawun
Cairo, Egypt

The complex of Sultan Qalawun was built for the sultan by Amir 'Alam al-Din Sanjar al-Shuja'i in 1284-5 and consisted of the founder's mausoleum, madrasa, and a maristan (hospital). The complex was located on al-Mu'izz Street.

The mausoleum's central, domed plan is connected to the madrasa by a long entrance passage, and the plan of both spaces is shifted to accommodate the qibla orientation.

The mausoleum, which is separated from the madrasa by this long corridor, is accessible via a small courtyard surrounded by an arcade with shallow domes. The octagonal structure was roofed by a dome which was destroyed in the 18th century. The current concrete dome, which is a replica of that covering the Mausoleum of al-Ashraf Khalil ibn Qalawun (1288), was built by Max Herz Bey in 1903. The octagonal base is transformed into a circle by means of wooden muqarnas.

The elaborate interior decoration includes marble revetment, carved, painted, and gilded wood, carved marble, and stucco.


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Behrens-Abouseif, Doris. Islamic Architecture in Cairo. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1989.

Creswell, K.A.C. The Muslim Architecture of Egypt. vol. II. Hacker Art Books, New York, 1978.

Jarrar, Sabri, András Riedlmayer, and Jeffrey B. Spurr. Resources for the Study of Islamic Architecture. Cambridge, MA: Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, 1994.

Meinecke, Michael. "Das Mausoleum des Qala'un in Kairo. Untersuchungen zur Genese der mamlukischen Architekturdekoration." Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Abteilung Kairo 27 (1971): 47-80.

Meinecke, Michael. Die Mamlukische Architektur in Ägypten und Syrien (648/1250 bis 923/1517). Glückstadt: Verlag J. J. Augustin, 1992.

Rabbat, Nasser. "Mamluk Throne Halls: Qubba or Iwan?" Ars Orientalis 23 (1993): 201-218.

Shari' al-Mu'izz li-Din Allah, Cairo, Egypt
Images & Videos
Associated Names
1284-1285/683 AH
Style Periods
Variant Names
Madrasa Mausoleum and Maristan of Sultan Qalawun
Sultan Qala'un Funerary Complex
Building Usages
health care