THE MOSQUES OF EGYPT
5.THE MAMLUK PERIOD, 648 - 923H. (1250- 1517 A.D.) .
29- THE MOSQUE AND KHANQA OF SULTAN BARQUQ (Mamluk Cemetery) 801- 813H.(1398/99- 1411) . THIS GREAT KHANQA is situated in the Mamluk cemetery: It was founded by Sultan al- Malik an Nasir Abu as- Sa'adat Farag ibn Barquq. Its construction was begun in 801H. (1398/90). The site chosen was that which his father had selected for his mausoleum. The work was continued by Barquq's brother, al- Malik al- Mansur 'Abd al- 'Aziz, when the latter ascended the throne in 808H. (1405) , for a short period; it was completed in 813H. (1411). This magnificent building has been designed for both religious and philanthropic purposes, in a manner that has no parallel in any other monument in Egypt. Besides being a Khanqa for theologians, it comprises a large mosque, two mausoleums for the family of Barquq, two sabils and two lecture halls for the teaching of the Qur'an. The group is distinguished by many architectural features, not to be found in any other monument. It has two similar minarets, two sabils with kuttabs above, and two large domes, with a smaller one in between, over the mihrab. In plan, it has an open sahn, surrounded by four iwans, the largest being the qibla one. The qibla iwan and the one opposite, which is slightly narrower, are roofed with little hemispherical domes, supported on plain octagonal stone piers. The side iwans are symmetrical and of equal dimensions. Behind the side iwans, are other parts of the Khanqa, viz. the cells and the upper rooms for the Sufis and the students. There is a beautiful stone minbar in the qibla iwan carved with rich designs. It was made by order of Sultan Qayt- Bay, in 888H. (1483). Above the mihrab is a small dome. This iwan is flanked by the two large and symmetrical mausoleums, access to which is obtained through two doorways in this iwan. These doors have two screens of open geometrical woodwork. Sultan Barquq is buried under the northern dome and some of his sons and grandsons are buried with him; others are buried under the southern dome. The Khanqa has two entrances, one at the end of the northern faade, and the other at the end of the western one. The inscriptions over these doors record the name of the founder and his titles, and the date of foundation. Symmetry has been maintained in the design of this building. It can be observed in the western faade where there are two symmetrical minarets and two symmetrical sabils. In the eastern faade too, there is a large symmetrical dome at each end, with a smaller one in the middle. The two large domes are decorated with deep zigzag flutings. This Khanqa has been under restoration for the past twenty years. The Department for the Preservation of Arab Monuments have strengthened several parts and rebuilt all that had fallen, such as the tops of the two minarets, the southern sabil, etc.. Plates 100- 102.