THE MOSQUES OF EGYPT
5.THE MAMLUK PERIOD, 648 - 923H. (1250- 1517 A.D.) .
15- THE MOSQUE AND MADRASA OF AN- NASIR MUHAMMAD IBN QALA'UN 695- 703H.(1295- 1304) . THIS MOSQUE AND MADRASA stand between the Mausoleum of al- Malik al- Mansur Qala'un and the Mosque of Barquq. It was built by al- Malik al- 'Adil Katbugha al- Mansuri in 695H.(1295) , on his accession to the throne of Egypt after the dethronement of an- Nasir Muhammad ibn Qala'un in 694H.(1294). He laid its foundation and had it partly built, up to the band of inscription on the faade. He was dethorned before its completion. After an- Nasir Muhammad regained the throne in 698H.(1299) , he completed it in 703H.(1304) , and named it after himself. The plan of this mosque and madrasa are of cruciform type. It has an open sahn, surrounded by four iwans. They only two iwans which still exist are those of the qibla and the one opposite to it. The remaining two iwans have been replaced by later buildings. Nothing remains of the decoration of the qibla iwan except the mihrab, with its two beautiful marble columns and splendid hood decorated with raised and pierced stucco. This decoration together with that in the north- west iwan, are magnificent examples of the mastery which this craft achieved at this time. To the right of the corridor leading to the sahn is the entrance to the mausoleum. The dome has disappeared but the zone of transition remains with its stalactite pendentives. The faade, which is built of stone, still retains most of its features. It is decorated with shallow recesses, with stalactite heads and three windows in the lower part. The windows have lintels and relieving arches, carved with ornament. All along the faade, runs a band of inscription in the name of an- Nasir Muhammad, which has replaced that of Katbugha, and the date on which work was begun. The faade is crowned with cresting. A most attractive feature is the Gothic doorway. It belonged to a church in 'Akka, until al- Ashraf Khalil ibn Qala'un conquered it in 690H.(1291) and had the doorway transported to Cairo. It was Al- Malik al- 'Adil Katbugha who had this doorway fitted into the mosque, when the work was begun. On top of the entrance stands a minaret of three storeys. The first storey is square in plan, and covered externally with rich stucco decoration and an inscription; it has a stalactite cornice supporting the first gallery. The second storey is octagonal; it ends with another stalactite cornice supporting the second gallery. The third and top storey are of later date. Plates 45- 46.