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 Qalawun Complex

Qalawun Complex

  • Qalawun complex is considered to be the beginning of the emergence of a new architectural style, which is known as architectural complexes that include more than one architectural unit of various purposes.
  • It is also the most beautiful Islamic complex in all of Egypt.

  • The complex is located on Al-Muizz Li Din Allah Street.
  • Sultan Al-Mansur Qalawun complex includes several buildings such as: school, a mausoleum for Sultan Qalawun, and Permistan "hospital", in addition to a sabil dating back to Sultan Al-Nasir Muhammad bin Qalawun.

  • It is a large building in the shape of the Latin letter L.


Sultan Al-Mansur Qalawun


Qalawun Complex


  • He was the one who founded a family that ruled Egypt, and the Levant for more than a century.
  • He is the seventh of the Turkish kings who ruled Egypt.

  • The design of the facade of this complex is identical to the façade of Palermo Cathedral in Sicily.

  • It is likely that one of the Crusader captives was its designer.

  • The façade contains an inscription band carved into the stone in thuluth script that includes the name, titles, and date of construction of the builder.


Prince Alameddin Al shujai


  • The construction of this complex was supervised by Prince Alameddin Al-Shujai.  

  • He was an expert in architecture and engineering.

  • He mobilized 300 prisoners to the architecture.

  • He also mobilized all the craftsmen and ordered them to work in this architecture, and prevented them from working in other buildings until the work in this complex was completed.

  • So this great complex was built in less than two years (about 14 month).
  • King Qalawun knew the value of the social and religious life of the Egyptians.
  • So he built an integrated charitable complex, and a mausoleum with a distinctive dome in which to read and learn the holy Qur’an, to make the Egyptians close to him, love him in his life, and have mercy on him after his death.


Al-Mansur Qalawun mausoleum


Qalawun Complex


  • It considered to be the second most beautiful mausoleum in the world, after the Indian Taj Mahal.
  • When the Sultan was dead, this mausoleum was not ready, so he was buried in a place in the citadel for two months, and then his body was transported to this mausoleum.

  • In the mausoleum, there is a mihrab decorated with marble and fine seashell.

Qalawun Complex

  • It is the largest and most luxurious mihrab in the antiquities of Egypt.

Qalawun Complex

  • The coffin is in the middle of the floor of the mausoleum, surrounded by a wooden shrine, surrounded by four huge granite columns.

The school

  • The school used to teach lessons in jurisprudence, and lessons in medicine, the practical side of which took place in the bimaristan (the hospital of the complex).


The Bimaristan


Qalawun Complex


  •  "Bimaristan" is a Persian word means in Arabic "the home of the sick," which meaning a hospital.

  • The idea of ​​building it dates back to when Qalawun was in the Levant, he became seriously ill.
  • He was treated by doctors with medicines brought from Bimaristan or hospital of Nur al-Din Mahmoud.

  • When Qalawun was healed, it is said that he vowed that if he became king, he would build a hospital like it in Egypt.
  • Treatment in this hospital was free of charge with all Muslims, without social separation, age, or gender.

  • It was initially restricted to treating the mentally ill.  
  • It is one of the first hospitals that treated mental illnesses, and among them was their treatment to calm the nerves of patients, the sounds of calm waters, and the ceaseless reading of the Qur’an.
  • In addition to that Sultan Al-Nasir Qalawun was placed in the document of the work of the bimaristan, 12 persons were booked to work as a musical group to entertain mentally ill patients.
  • The bimaristan rooms were overlooking at water fountain, and trees, to provide a feeling of relaxation for the psychopath.
Qalawun Complex


  • The psychiatric patient, when discharged from the hospital, takes 5 dinars of gold.
  • So that he does not have to work directly after getting out from the hospital, but rather takes his recovery period, and that represents an integrated, civilized health care.
  • At that time, Europe was going through a dark age, as they dealt with psychopaths with the utmost brutality as they killed them, and burned them.

  • The activity of this hospital continued until the nineteenth century, before it was neglected.
  • Unfortunately it was completely destroyed in 1910.

  • But it was replaced by another new hospital 1915, which was specialized in “Ophthalmology - Eye Diseases” and partly for treating the ear, nose and throat, and it continues to work until now.

The Minaret


Qalawun Complex

  • The minaret consists of three floors, both the first and second floors are square, and the third is round and contains decorations consisting of interlocking arches.

  • This minaret is similar to the minaret AlHambra Mosque in Spain.

  • It was recently discovered that the material used to paste this mosaic is frankincense, as one of the properties of frankincense is that it emits a good smell.

The References

  • https://www.google.com/search?q=Palermo+Cathedral+in+Sicily.&sxsrf=ALeKk00Y7_xM7BginkiNRmzqzexbxAK6Pg%3A1621216667131&source=hp&ei=m82hYPSMBtCulwT_tI3AAQ&oq=Palermo+Cathedral+in+Sicily.&gs_lcp=ChFtb2JpbGUtZ3dzLXdpei1ocBADMgYIABAWEB4yBggAEBYQHjoHCCMQ6gIQJzoJCCMQ6gIQJxATOg8ILhDHARCvARDqAhAnEBM6DQguEMcBEK8BEOoCECdQ9R5Y9R5gv3RoAXAAeACAAaABiAGgAZIBAzAuMZgBAKABAqABAbABDw&sclient=mobile-gws-wiz-hp#trex=m_t:lcl_akp,rc_f:nav,rc_ludocids:10149529786493466474,rc_q:Cattedrale%2520di%2520Palermo,ru_q:Cattedrale%2520di%2520Palermo,trex_id:oT54wf
  • https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alhambra

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