THE MOSQUES OF EGYPT
5.THE MAMLUK PERIOD, 648 - 923H. (1250- 1517 A.D.) .
24- THE MOSQUE OF SARGHATMISH 757H.(1356) . THIS MOSQUE is on the south side of al- Khudayri Street, next to the western ziyada of Ibn Tulun's mosque. It was built in 757H. (1356) by the Amir Sayf ad- Din Sarghatmish, who was a Mamluk acquired by an- Nasir Muhammad ibn Qala'un in 737H. (1337) , and who did not become well known durning the latter's reign. But during the reign of al- Malik al- Muzaffar Haggi ibn- Nasir Muhammad, however, and later during the reign of his brother as- Salih Muhammad, the Amir Sarghatmish acquired fame, and was consulted in every matter. His influence increased during the reign of Sultan Hasan. He died in 759H. (1358). The mosque is built according to the cruciform madrasa plan. It consists of an open sahn surrounded by four iwans, the largest being the qibla one, which consists of three bays, the middle one of which is covered by a lofty dome resting on wooden stalactite pendentives. This dome was built in 1940 to replace the old one, which was demolished towards the end of the nineteenth century. A dome in front of a mihrab is an architectural feature that we have seen in several previous mosques, but not in those built according to the cruciform madrasa plan. In this mosque, however, it constitutes a unique feature which distinguishes it from earlier and later ones. At the back of this iwan is a mihrab in coloured marble, in the middle of a marble dado, remarkable for two panels of white marble, each of which is engraved with raised ornament in the form of a medallion in the centre and four quarter medallions in the corners, and two bands of inscriptions, one in the upper part, and the other in the lower part of each panel, bearing the name of the founder, thus resembling the brass linings of the doors of some Mamluk mosques. The minbar, however, is of later date, 1118H. (1706). The space between the sides of the four iwans and the corners of the sahn are occupied by students' cells, the arches of the doors being decorated with voussoirs of white and black marble. The sahn, paved with coloured marble, has in its centre a place for ablution which was once covered with a dome, but no remains of it have survived, except the supporting columns. On the far side of the north- western iwan is a door opening into the mausoleum, in the centre of which is a cenotaph of fine craftsmanship. The mausoleum had a coloured marble dado, of which a few fragments remain. It is covered with a dome resting on stalactite pendentives, of many tiers, in a way that differs from that adopted for the dome over the mihrab. The drum, as well as the walls of the mausoleum, are decorated in the upper part with pierced stucco windows, embellished with coloured glass, in fine designs. The external faade is divided into shallow panels with two windows in each, the upper ones being filled with stucco grilles, pierced in fine geometrical designs. The faade is crowned with remains of a stepped cresting. The salient part forms the faade of the mausoleum, the drum of the dome of which is surrounded with a band of inscription, surmounted by three tiers of stalactites which support the lower edge of the dome. The dome is thus different from the usual Mamluk type. The entrance is at the northern end of the faade. As regards style, it is similar to other mosque entrances. It is coverd with a beautiful stalactite hood. Above the maxalas (stone benches) on both sides of the entrance, runs a band of inscription containing the name of the founder and the date of completion. The minaret is placed to the left of the entrance; it is built of white and red stone and has three storeys, the lowest of which is octagonal and surmounted by a cornice which supports the first gallery. The second storey is also octagonal and ends with a similar stalactite cornice, supporting the second gallery. The third storey has eight marble columns, bearing the cap. The Department for the Preservation of Arab Monuments, after numbering all the stones, took down this minaret and rebuilt it in 1935. They also renewed the marble pavement of the sahn in 1945. Plates 76- 77.