Qalawun Tomb Complex

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Interior in the tomb complex al-Mansur Qalawuns

The tomb complex al-Mansur Qalawuns is in Cairo and is considered an outstanding work of medieval art in Egypt . It consists of the actual mausoleum , a madrasa and a hospital. The builder was Saif ad-Din Qalawun al-Alfi al-Mansur , the Sultan of the Mamelukes in Egypt from 1279 to 1290.

The building is said to have been completed in just 13 months. According to an inscription at the entrance, the complex dates from 1284 and 1285. The hospital was the first part to be built, followed by the mausoleum and madrasa.

The mausoleum is in the north of the complex. It is 21 × 23 meters in size and consists of a pillared hall topped by a dome. To the north of it was a minaret. The entrance was to the west and led through a courtyard with porticos into the main hall proper. It is richly decorated with painted wood, marble, stucco and marble mosaics. The mihrab is one of the largest in Egypt.

The madrasa is south of the mausoleum. She has an open yard and two ivans . Here Fiqh was taught according to the four Sunni teaching directions , Hadith and Koranic exegesis .

The hospital is attached to the west. It consists of a large courtyard with a well. There were two bathrooms and numerous small rooms in which the patients were housed. Today the hospital is only preserved as a ruin.


  • Doris Behrens-Abouseif: Cairo of the Mamluks . London 2007 pp. 132-142, ISBN 978-1-84511-549-4
  • Michael Meinecke: The mausoleum of Qala'un in Cairo: Investigations into the genesis of Mamluk architectural decoration. In: Communications from the German Archaeological Institute. Cairo Department, 27.1, 1971, pp. 47–80

Web links

Commons : tomb complex of al-Mansur Qalawun  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

supporting documents

  1. Jonathan Berkey: The Transmission of Knowledge in Medieval Cairo. A Social History of Islamic Education . New Jersey 1989. p. 48.

Coordinates: 30 ° 2 ′ 58.3 "  N , 31 ° 15 ′ 39.5"  E