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HANDS ON Traditional Crafts at The City of the Dead in Cairo
Hawd (drinking-trough for animals) of Sultan al-Ashraf Qaytbay (No.183), A.D.1474 /879 A.H.

The charities providing drinking water to animals (hawd) were not as numerous in Cairo as those serving people (sabil), but quite a number have been preserved. Sultan Qaitbey built at least three in the city. The present look of the stone-built structure is mostly the result of the late 19th century work of the Comité de Conservation des Monuments de l’Art Arabe, but the general outline of the original structure survives, with the back wall of the porch richly decorated in high-quality stone carving typical of the sultan’s reign. The Comité covered the ruined structure with a protective roof. The building was conserved again in 2014.


Behind the hawd are remnants of service buildings of the once vast funerary complex, including a water-wheel that supplied the hawd. They were preserved by the Comité as a permanent ruin.

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