Art Islamic Architecture In Cairo Pdf


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Link: PDF at Stable link here: webbin/book/lookupid?key=olbp Subject: Islamic architecture -- Egypt Studies and Sources on Islamic Art and Architecture: Supplements to Muqarnas Volume III. Doris Behrens-Abouseif's introduction to Cairo's Islamic. JSAH, L:4, DECEMBER for instance, did the potent concepts of the s cease to affect these architects from the s into the s? How can we.

Islamic Architecture In Cairo Pdf

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PDF | The city of Cairo is serving as the capital of Egypt since it was preserved within the Islamic architecture of Cairo have been highlighted. PDF | This paper discusses the contribution by Italian architects to the revival of Islamic architecture, period in Rome, his study of Islamic architecture in Cairo. Cairo is an unequaled treasure house of Islamic architecture. Built over a span of a thousand years, Cairo's historic center contains the most concentrated, the.

I saw a tree that looked like an orange tree, whose branches, leaves and fruits were made of sugar. A thousand statuettes and figurines also made of sugar were also placed there. A French ambassador to Cairo, speaking of the palace in , mentions floors of colored marble, grouted with gold, and a courtyard surrounded by magnificent colonnaded porticos.

Water from a central fountain trickled through gold and silver pipes into channels and pools. There was a menagerie and an aviary filled with exotically colored birds from all over the world.

Long passages of Maqrlzl's account tell of the different treasure halls of the Fatimid palaces and an academy with a vast library. The larger one, Misr, supported the productive and mercantile population, while al-Qahira was inhabited exclusively by the foreign rulers and their entourage. Commoners employed in the royal city returned to al-Fustat Misr at the end of the working day.

Each city had a port. That of al-Fustat was close to its markets, while alMaqs or Umm Dunayn the pre-Islamic village of Tandunias harbored the Fatimid fleet. This situation, however, did not survive the next century. In the twelfth century a series of natural catastrophes, plague followed by famine and a violent earthquake, severely depopulated al-Fustat and arrested its development.

The Fatimid vizier Badr al-Jamall, responding to the situation, permitted the transfer of some markets to al-Qahira and allowed wealthy citizens to build new houses in the formerly exclusive city. Nur al-Dln of Syria sent his armies to aid the Fatimids, and the Muslim troops, led by Shlrkuh and his nephew Salah al-Dln, fought the Crusaders from to During these campaigns the Fatimid vizier Shawar is reported to have ordered the burning of al-Fustat to stop the invaders.

After his victory over the Franks, Salah al-Dln became vizier under the last Fatimid Caliph, whom he overthrew in , reestablishing the supremacy of the Sunni Caliphate of Baghdad and ending two centuries of IsmacIli Shi c ite rule in Egypt. These upheavals consolidated changes already in progress.

Once opened to whoever wished to live there, al-Qahira completely eclipsed al-Fustat. The suburbs of the older city had decayed, leaving large empty spaces between al-Fustat and al-Qahira.

Salah al-Dln set out to enclose both cities and the intervening areas within one long set of walls. Undaunted by the enormity of the task, he also intended his wall to extend westward across the Khallj to include the port of al-Maqs, and eastward to al-Muqattam, where he began his Citadel in the Syrian tradition of hilltop fortifications.

He died before these projects were completed, and the walls of Cairo were never continued. The Citadel, however, designed not only as a fortress but also as the residence of sultans, was enlarged and embellished with new buildings throughout its history.

Under the Mamluks there was extensive development along the road leading from Bab Zuwayla to the Citadel and its royal palaces. Natural forces played a part as well. The Nile's course shifted to the west in the fourteenth century, transforming the island of Bulaq into a port on the eastern bank and leaving alMaqs, which Salah al-Dln had planned to fortify, far inland.

On the eastern edge of al-Qahira the cemetery founded by al-Nasir Muhammad, like that of Fustat farther to the south, expanded into the desert and soon became the site of important religious foundations. The Khallj, which for centuries had formed the western border of the city, fed a number of ponds in the western, northern and southern outskirts. The Nile flooded these ponds in summer, leaving their beds green with vegetation when the waters receded. The beauty of these ponds made them the summer resorts of Cairenes, and many princely residences were built near them, particularly the Birkat al-Fll in the south.

The pond of Azbakiyya came into vogue during the late Mamluk period and remained fashionable under the Ottomans.

Orchards and pleasure buildings on the western bank of the Khallj gradually gave way to urbanization during the Ottoman period , as the city's northern areas expanded toward the Nile. The word Cairo is derived from the Arabic alQahira, which is not, however, the name commonly used by Egyptians to designate their capital.

They have always called it Masr the popular form of Misr, meaning Egypt. Al-Qahira is the official term used in written Arabic today. Egyptian medieval historians make a clear distinction between Misr and Al-Qahira.

Al-Qahira is the name of that part of the capital established in by the Fatimid dynasty as its residential city. There are two interpretations of the word Fustat. While European scholars usually derive it from the Greek and Latin fossatum meaning trench, which could be a pre-Islamic local toponym, Arab scholars prefer to interpret it as the Arabic fustat, meaning tent.

According to legend, the name originated when the Arab troops on their way to Alexandria left the tent of c Amr Ibn al-cAs behind in order not to disturb a dove that had built a nest in it.

In time, people dropped the word al-Fustat, and the area of the early Arab foundation was once again known as Misr. The term Misr was later extended to refer to the whole capital, composed of both al-Fustat and al-Qahira. Ottoman coins from Egypt are inscribed, duriba fi misr, "struck in Misr", and Ottoman coins always refer to the city rather than to the province where they were struck.

The mint was at the Citadel, in al-Qahira. Many people still call it Misr al- c Atiqa.

The habit of calling the entire Egyptian capital Cairo, or al-Qahira, was begun by Europeans who visited Egypt. The name was reinforced by Napoleon's French scholars, who made a scholarly survey of the city which they called Le Kaire, translated by the British as Cairo. Despite its many losses, Cairo has been spared wholesale devastations by wars and other calamities, and today offers us a wealth of historic architecture.

The mosque of Ibn Tulun, despite a few variations, is still a product of the Abbassid court art of Samarra.

While the arrival of a new dynasty need not automatically bring with it a change of style in arts and crafts, a new political system necessarily shapes the environment of the craftsman and thus brings new influences to bear upon his inherited methods and experience. The Fatimid reign promoted Egypt from a tribute-paying governorate within a Caliphate to a Caliphate itself, with Cairo the imperial capital. Cairo's new status as seat of the Fatimid Caliphate led to the emergence of a new, individual style.

The arts and architecture of the Fatimid period show an integrated use of Coptic, Byzantine and Samarran elements. Foreign forms in Fatimid architecture and decoration thus express not a provincial version of an imperial prototype, but a demonstration that the new imperial city had considerable attraction for craftsmen and artists from many traditions in and outside Egypt.

The Fatimid dynasty ruled Egypt between and They came from North Africa, where they had established an empire prior to their conquest of Egypt. The imams, because of their ancestry, were considered by the Ismacllls to be PL 4. The Fatimid Caliphs were the imams of the community. Under Fatimid Shlca rule, most of the Egyptian population continued to be faithful to Sunnism, and were thus separated from their rulers by a religious barrier.

These shrines, such as the shrines of Sayyida Naflsa, Sayyida Zaynab, and al-Husayn venerated by both Shlca and Sunni Muslims, are still venerated today, helped bridge the religious gap between rulers and subjects, and also enhanced the prestige of the Fatimid rulers, themselves descendants and relatives of the worshipped saints.

Memorial buildings of this type were not peculiar to Egypt; they had appeared earlier in other parts of the Muslim world as well. The Fatimid Caliphs were not buried in cemeteries, but within the confines of their own palaces.

Their tombs and those of their ancestors were considered as shrines and visited on religious and official occasions. The outstanding architectural achievement of the Fatimid Caliphs, according to travelers' and historians' accounts, were their palaces. As nothing of these have survived except written descriptions, our visual experience-of Fatimid architecture is restricted to a few surviving shrines, mosques, and the city gates.

Though limited in number, these monuments show us the great creativity of Fatimid architecture and decoration, and the reasons for its long lasting influence in subsequent periods.

Fatimid mosques retained the hypostyle mosque plan, with column-supported arcades surrounding a courtyard. However, the keel arch was introduced, usually carried on pre-Islamic Corinthian capitals. An Islamic type of capital in the shape of a bell was used, and the shape was often repeated underneath the column to form its base, though set upside down. The piers of the mosque of Ibn Tulun already had such capitals and bases.

The prayer niche of a Fatimid mosque is always enhanced architecturally, either by a dome above it or by a transept al-Azhar and al-Hakim have both , or by a widening of the aisle adjacent to the qibla wall al-Aqmar mosque , or the aisle perpendicular to it al-Salih Talaric- mosque. Aligning the facade of the mosque to the street, a feature characteristic of Cairene medieval architecture, appears for the first time in the Fatimid period.

The alAqmar mosque is the earliest extant example, and is also the earliest extant example of an extensively decorated mosque facade. Facade decoration with recesses in which windows are placed is first seen at the mosque of al-Salih Tala-'ic and the location of a mosque above shops was also initiated during this period. Fatimid minaret shapes show a clear evolution from al-Juyushi to Abu'l-Ghadanfar toward the mabkhara shape, a term meaning "incense burner," which was used by Creswell to designate a rectangular shaft supporting an octagonal section with a ribbed helmet.

This minaret shape, not, by the way, reminiscent of any known type of incense burner, was to become typical of minarets for the next two centuries. It is known that marble was used for decoration, though none used in mosques has remained in place. Stucco, wood and stone carvings display floral designs, arabesques derived from Samarran and Byzantine motifs, and geometric patterns. Kufic inscription bands become increasingly ornate.

Window grills have floral as well as geometric designs, and glass in stucco grills appears for the first time, a feature that was common from then on. The Fatimid period introduced decorative features such as the keel-arched niche with fluted radiating hood, a variation on a late classic theme used widely in Coptic art. This fluted niche hood must have inspired architects to build fluted domes, a style continued in Mamluk architecture.

The Fatimid use of inscription bands along the arches, however, was not continued, and is confined to the Fatimid period. Although Samarran and Byzantine motifs inspired Fatimid decoration, these were further developed and modified into a complex and less repetitive treatment, emphasizing accommodation to the surface to be decorated.

The Sunnis therefore emulated the system, promoting the madrasas to counteract Shlca propaganda. In a madrasa, the student acquired a higher education in law and theology to enable him to undertake scholarly or administrative duties.

He was given food, lodging, clothing, and even a stipend. The khanqah was for the Sufis, who espoused the mystic, esoteric approach to religion, in which seclusion and ascetism played important roles.

In the early khanqah, the Sufis led a monastic life according to their own strict regulations and were also sponsored in the same manner as the students of the madrasa. Imam Shaficl, founder of the rite known by his The Ayyubids, who adhered to the Shafi c i rite of Islamic law, allowed only one Friday mosque within an urban area, which explains why they did not build any new major mosques.

They built instead a number of madrasas, of which only one has survived. Many of their madrasas were established in houses or palaces. The madrasa was an institution sponsored by members of the ruling class for teaching theology and law according to an officially approved curriculum. Teaching in mosques was common since the beginning of Islamic history, but these early teaching institutions were private initiatives not subject to state control.

Salah al-Din also sponsored a magnificent wooden cenotaph on the Imam's grave, still in place today. Nothing of the madrasa has survived. The first khanqah of Egypt, also introduced by Salah al-Din, was established on the premises of a Fatimid palace in the center of al-Qahira. It too has not survived, but throughout the medieval period it was one of the most important khanqahs of Cairo.

Originally, it was exclusively for Sufis from outside Egypt. The madrasa and the khanqah which were both planned to lodge their respective communities of students and Sufis, were necessarily built on a plan different from that of the traditional mosque.

They had to include living units, a kitchen, sometimes a bath, a reception hall and stables which are elements of domestic architecture. Thus the Twan, which historians mention in an earlier residential context, was adopted in madrasa and khanqah architecture. In its classic form, it was a hall open on one side and covered by a vault or a flat ceiling.

In Cairo, early iwans—Ayyubid and Bahri Mamluk—were vaulted; in the later Mamluk period they were often covered with a wooden ceiling. At the madrasa of al-Salih Najm al-Din, two iwans face each other across a courtyard with the living units on the lateral sides built on several stories. At the end of the thirteenth century, the so-called cruciform plan was adopted with four unequal iwans framing the courtyard and the living quarters occupying the corners of the courtyard.

In funerary architecture, the mausoleum of Imam Shafi c 1 continued the shrine tradition established by the Fatimids, on a superlative scale and with new meaning. The Imam Shafi c i dome, like that of al-Salih Najm al-Din, has a feature alien to Fatimid domes: its profile curves near the springing of the dome.

This dome, however, was restored several times, and it is possible that its shape was remodeled, in which case the dome Pl. The minaret of al-Salih Najm al-Din is of the mabkhara type decorated with stalactites.

The earliest mabkhara minaret, that of Abu'l-Ghadanfar , is without stalactites. In either case, they deserve some mention here, as they represent a further step in the evolution of Cairo architecture of the mid-thirteenth century.

The Minaret of Zawiyat al-Hunud One of these is a minaret known by its later designation as the minaret of Zawiyat al-Hunud. It is a rnabkhara minaret which has retained more decorations than that of al-Salih, with lozenges and keel arches and more stalactites. Its silhouette is more slender and elongated, and it therefore might well have been built around , as Creswell suggests. It adjoins the shrine of Sayyida Nafisa in the cemetery of Fustat and is undated.

The mausoleum includes several cenotaphs, the earliest of which is that of an ambassador of the Abbasid court named Nadla, who died in Egypt in There are also two sons of the Mamluk Sultan alZahir Baybars buried under the same dome and other later Caliphs' cenotaphs.

The cenotaphs of course do not date the mausoleum itself; it might be older or later than the tombs. Creswell identifies it as having been built originally for Nadla, the ambassador of the Abbasid Caliph, in Other arguments, such as the extraordinarily lavish decoration, favor its attribution to Sultan al-Zahir Baybars who would have built it for his sons in the 's, especially since the enclosure in which the mausoleum stands axially is assigned to alZahir Baybars.

The mausoleum of the Abbasid Caliphs is one of the most finely decorated buildings of medieval Cairo. Its dome's interior is covered with exquisitely carved stucco and painted medallions. It has a band of braided, painted Kufic script in its lower part, the only example in Cairene architectural decoration. The architec- Pl. Two-tiered squinches alternating with twotiered windows resemble those at Sayyida Ruqayya, but here the space between squinch and windows is filled with niches so that the whole octagonal zone appears as a ring of niches, some forming stalactite squinches, some pierced with windows for light, and others carved to match the overall composition.

This treatment of the transitional zone was subsequently adopted in all domes with squinches. The arabesques are more abstract and more intricate, to the extent that the basic design is concealed behind the densely carved curves very minutely and extremely delicately executed.

Their basic arrangement, however, follows the usual geometric rules. Indeed, the stuccos resemble lace, a prominent example being on the base of a minaret added in to the shrine of al-Husayn whose original top has not survived.

Islamic Art in Cairo

The decoration of Shajarat al-Durr's dome gives the same impression. Stucco window grills are no longer treated geometrically; arabesques are used instead. Work in stone and wood follows the same trend. The woodwork of the cenotaphs of Imam Shafici and the one added to the shrine of al-Husayn now in the Islamic Museum are perhaps the most beautiful in Cairo's history. They are carved in deep relief in floral and geometric patterns and use both Kufic and naskhi scripts.

The use of naskhi increases in Ayyubid decoration and is applied along with Kufic to decorate architecture and other artistic objects as well. Samarran and Byzantine styles were fully supplanted in the Ayyubid period by Islamic decorative art forms.

The architecture of the Bahri Mamluks is primarily Cairene, based on the Fatimid and Ayyubid traditions that evolved into an indigenous Cairo art without, however, ever being closed to outside inspiration. FUNCTIONS c The mosque of Amr at Fustat was the congregational mosque of the city, which means that it was the mosque where the Friday sermon was held, first by c Amr himself, and subsequently by his successors, the first governors of Egypt and spiritual heads of the Muslim community.

Of course it was not the only mosque of the city, for there were a multitude of others for the five daily prayers. The ordinary mosque was called masjid, which is the origin of the word "mosque".

Islamic Architecture in Cairo: An Introduction

Today, this terminological distinction no longer exists. Every medieval urban agglomeration had its own congregational mosque. When, however, the cities and their Muslim communities grew, the number of Friday mosques increased. Al-Qahira had the al-Azhar and al-Hakim mosques.

The Fatimid Caliph, in his position as both political and spiritual leader, held prayer each Friday in the four mosques of c Amr, Ibn Tulun, al-Azhar, and al-Hakim.

Under the Ayyubids, the only congregational mosque of Cairo was that of al-Hakim, no doubt because it was the largest in the city.

At Fustat, the mosque of c Amr continued to be the city's Friday mosque. The Mamluks increased the number of Friday mosques, and from the time of Sultan Hasan, madrasas and khanqahs also became simultaneously Friday mosques so that by the fifteenth century, each quarter and sometimes even each street had its own.

The sermon delivered by the shaykh had at that time only a spiritual, and not a political, function. PLANS Creswell has demonstrated definitively that the rnadrasa plan called cruciform, consisting of a court- 15 yard with four iwans of unequal size and living units between them, developed in Egypt.

The earliest known madrasas, those of al-Malik al-Kamil and al-Malik alSalih, had two iwans facing each other across a courtyard, and at al-Salih's madrasa, this form was duplicated. We do not know exactly how the lateral sides were treated, but the madrasa of Sultan Qalawun is rather similar in plan. There, the lateral sides each have a small room in the form of a recess, rather than a true iwan. In later madrasas, these recesses become larger, forming small iwans. This plan is very similar to the qa'-a, or reception hall, of Mamluk and Ottoman residences, the only difference being that in the classic madrasa, the courtyard is not roofed or domed as it was in the residential qa c a.

Hypostyle mosques continued to be built in the Bahri Mamluk period, but were no longer free standing. In the already crowded urban setting, their plans generally lose their regularity. For example, the main entrance is no longer on the axis of the sanctuary. With Shajarat al-Durr, who initiated the rule of the Bahri Mamluk sultans, it became traditional for the founder of a religious institution to add his own mausoleum to the building.

The mausoleum dome was built to enhance the founder's prestige, and its location was therefore important. Ideally a mausoleum attached to a religious building had to be oriented to Mecca and at the same time accessible from the street.

The formula succeeds at the mausoleums of Qalawun, al-Nasir Muhammad, and all others located on the west side of the street. Where the Mecca orientation does not coincide with the street, the street orientation was given preference.

Mausoleums were given large windows with iron grills, where a shaykh sat and recited the Quran both for the soul of the dead and to attract the attention and blessings of passersby. Often, mausoleums were much more richly decorated than the buildings they were attached to, a good example being that of Baybars alJashanklr.

FACADES Mosques and madrasas since their earliest history had primary schools for boys maktab or kuttab attached to them, which were usually dedicated to the education of orphans. Other boys could take private lessons with teachers who taught in shops within the city, as the tales of "The Schoolmaster" and "The Split-Mouth Schoolmaster" of the Arabian Nights tell us. By the end of the Bahri Mamluk period, an architectural device was developed for such structures.

An Introduction

A loggia occupying a corner with a double arch on each side surmounted the sabil or water-house. The sabll was another pious foundation that could be attached to a mosque. It was a place where the thirsty passerby could get a drink of water. A man especially employed for that purpose would serve him behind the large sabll window.

Since the madrasa of Amir Iljay al-Yusuff, the combination of a sabll with a kuttab became a standard feature of the facades, always at the corner, of religious foundations. The recesses are crowned with stalactites and have large rectangular lower windows with iron grills and higher arched or double arched windows with stucco grills and colored glass.

The Qalawun complex has a round arch decorated in the spandrels with interlacing stripes of black and white marble. At the khanqah of Baybars al-Jashankir the portal is a round arch with cushion voussoir.

At the mosques of al-Maridani and Aqsunqur, pointed arches characterize the entrance recess. The mosques of Ulmas and Bashtak have a rectangular recess with dripping stalactites above the entrance bay. The mosque of Amir Husayn has a pointed arch with moldings radiating from a central point above the lintel and interlacing to form the voussoir of the arch. The northern portal of al-Nasir's mosque at the Citadel has a trilobed shallow recess. Eventually, the stalactite portal composed of a halfdome resting on stalactites predominates, and later is used exclusively.

Creswell traces its origins to Syria, Pl. This, however, is not a definitive argument, for many earlier buildings in Cairo that have not survived may have had this feature.

The vestibules are almost always cross-vaulted. The minaret of al-Maridani is the earliest surviving example of a new type of minaret with completely octagonal shaft and a top that is not a mabkhara, but a pavilion of eight columns, carrying above a crown of stalactites a pear-shaped bulb. This top is the standard for later Mamluk minarets, and the mabkhara top disappears in the second half of the fourteenth century.

In later minarets, the rectangular shaft is supplanted by an octagonal first story. DOMES Two types of dome profiles are used in the Bahri Mamluk period, those like Baybars al-Jashanklr's that curves near the base and are usually plain, and those like Sanjar's and Salar's that begin cylindrically and curve at a higher level and are often ribbed. Inscription bands carved in stucco decorate the drums of Bahri Mamluk domes.

In the domes' interiors are two main types of transitional zones. The earlier type has several-tiered squinches alternating with several-tiered windows and niches; windows, squinches and niches all have the same profile. Later, pendentives are used, first in wood as at al-Nasir Muhammad's Citadel mosque, then in stone.

I , which has now gone. The incipient molded bull's eye is sketched in the stone around the rectangular window. This is forty years before the fulfillment of the 'idea' in the buildings of the Qalawaun period.

And the waxy-leaved capitals of the engaged colonettes forming the sides of the portal point toward the 'lotus' capitals of the fifteenth century e. One looks, too, at the ground plan of the Mosque of Malika Safiya Pi. II and wrongly ascribed to a sixteenth-century Ottoman governor, Da'ud Pasha and one wonders if it did have an octagonal fountain in the courtyard and if there were three grand sets of rounded steps originally.

Or one looks at PI. Because of Prisse we know there was a second dome and a liwan to the complex and the remains of a separate domed mausoleum slightly to the south with a set of three lights above a keel-arched mihrab similar to those in the aforementioned liwan.

Why are we given drawings of Andalusian textiles some misdated into the bargain? Why an Ottoman quiver and bow case of appliqued leather? Or a piece of paper applique design of the late Mughal period? There are seven plates devoted to the minbar at Qus and still others to the later minbars of al-Salih Tala'i and Qaysun while there are precious few examples of Mamluke ceramics and enameled glass.

And it is difficult to explain his comparative obsession with the decoration of the Burdayni Mosque, unless it was easier of access than other monuments. One wonders about the ten plates devoted to an eighteenth-century Maghribi Quran; was he under obligation IX Islamic Art in Cairo to the Cairene shaykh who owned it? Since all of these drawings are of superior quality and have proven useful to scholars working outside the distinct field of Egyptian Islamic art, would it be better to have excluded them?

If Prisse understood these as contributing to his two broad fields of endeavor, Egyptian Islamic architecture and architectural decoration, he left the relationships unexplained. And one must not forget that a dessinateur was determined to get the bulk of his material into print notwithstanding our modern niceties of categorization.

And publishers could and did add graphic work from other hands to enhance what they thought was the 'picturesque' quality of a work. Prisse found this out when he looked at the narrative sections provided by the Egyptologist James Augustus St. Thus, if the aforementioned reader and scholar is also interested in Iranian Islamic art and architecture, would they be better served if the etchings were excised? Enfin, Prisse was perhaps not well served by the publishing norms of his own day or by his manic drive to get his work before the public.

Other imperfections have been noted above, some of which have been corrected or made more felicitous in this edition. Google Scholar. Farmington Hill. Development of Construction techniques in the Mamluks Domes of Cairo. Construction and Reconstruction. Delgado Cepeda, eds. Fucecchio Florence: Kim Williams Books. G IECK. Engineering Formulas. McGraw Hill Professional. Thesis, University of Heidelberg.These are charac- terized, like the ninth-century pottery of Iraq and Nishapur, by their splashed and mottled overrun glazes.

There are also several beautiful wooden grills. The residences occupied the heart of the new imperial city into which the Caliph al-Mu c izz made his triumphal entry in The Coptic church in particular became an arena for nationalist feeling, for the Copts had good reason to be proud of the leading role Egypt had played in shaping early Christianity.

Afterwards, masons were content with repetitive geometric or floral patterns, such as those seen on the domes of Qansuh Abu Sacid , al- c Adil Tumanbay , Khayrbak , and Qanibay The minarets of Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad at the Citadel. Minaret of al-Ghuri.