THE MOSQUES OF EGYPT
5.THE MAMLUK PERIOD, 648 - 923H. (1250- 1517 A.D.) .
16- THE MOSQUE OF SALAR AND SANGAR AL- GAWLI 703H.(1303/1304) . THIS MOSQUE was constructed in 703H.(1303/4) by the Amir 'Alam ad- Din Sangar al- Gawli, who was originally a Mamluk of one of az- Zahir Baybars' Amirs. After his master's death, he served in the house of Qala'un, until he bcame Amir during the reign of an- Nasir Muhammad ibn Qala'un. The mosque is situated at Marasina Street and stands on a rocky cliff. A flight of steps leads up to the main entrance, which is about three metres above the level of the street. It leads to a vestibule, on the right side of which is a staircase leading up to a landing on which are two doors; one opens into the mosque, which consists of a sahn and the qibla iwan, the other gives access to a corridor with cross- vaults. On the right hand side of this corridor are two mausoleums, the first, which is the larger, has an inscription on its door lintel, stating that it contains the body of the Amir Sayf ad- Din Salar, Viceroy during the reign of al- Malik an- Nasir Muhammad, and the date of construction, during the months of 703H. The second and smaller mausoleum has a similar inscription over the door stating that it contains the body of the Amir 'Alam ad- Din Sangar al- Gawli, and the date of construction. Both mausoleums are built of brick. At the end of the above mentioned vaulted corridor is a small stone dome. In the opposite side of the corridor, facing the two domes, are three arched openings, filled in with stone slabs, pierced with beautiful scrolls and decorated with fine designs. This type of stone grille is not to be met with except in the stone balustrades of certain minaret galleries. Behind this corridor is a wide space, in the eastern wall of which is a mihrab and the remains of a band of inscription, including some verses from the Qur'an, in decorated Naskhi. Behind this wall are some ruined cells, with rooms above, communicating with those overlooking the sahn of the mosque. A corridor on the eastern side of these cells ends at a door by which the mosque is entered from the district of Qal'at al- Kabsh. The importance of this mosque is confined to its faade. With its beautiful minaret and the two domes alongside, it is considered a unique example among the mosque faades of Cairo. It is decorated with two groups of recesses, crowned with stalactites; in the lower part of each is a window with a decorated lintel. The main entrance faade is at the left end of the set back in a recess coverd with stalactites in three tiers. A parapet of stepped cresting runs along the top of the faade. The minaret, which is placed to the right of the main entrance is composed of three storeys. The first is square; it is decorated, on its four sides, with windows of various forms, and at the top is a band of inscription, carved in the stone. A cornice, composed of three tiers of stalactites, supports the minaret gallery. The second storey is octagonal, and has eight openings, surmounted with keel- arched tops; it is crowned with a huge cornice of stalactites in several tiers. The third storey is cylindrical and also has eight openings. It ends with a cornice of stalactites and is covered with a ribbed dome. Next to the minaret are two similar ribbed domes, the one nearest to it being slightly larger than the other. Below the ribs runs a band of inscription, including verses from the Qur'an. Below this is a row of small windows, pierced in the drum of the dome. Plates 47- 48.