HANDS ON Traditional Crafts at The City of the Dead in Cairo

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Tombs of Barsbay al-Bagasi, A.D.1456 / 860 A.H. and Amir Sulayman A.D.1544 / 951 A.H. (No.124)

The roughly rectangular enclosure of stone walls with the founder’s domed tomb in a corner, an arcade along the wall facing Mecca, and some other rooms along the perimeter wall, including an ornate gate and an entrance hall is a typical example of what many tombs in the cemetery looked like, including the original complex of Sultan Inal. Amir Barsbay al Bagasi was the grand chamberlain and Master of the Horse of this Sultan. The zigzag pattern on the stone dome and scrolled corners of the zone-of transition are typical of mid-15th century mausolea, but the blue faience roundels at the base of the dome are a rare feature.

 

The tomb of Amir Sulayman was built in the middle of the enclosure about ninety years later. Although constructed long after the Ottoman conquest, it is entirely Mamluk in style. The stone-built domed mausoleum with elaborate floral patterns on the dome and geometrical corners of the zone-of transition are typical of the last phase of Mamluk architecture. The inscription band of faience tiles at the base of the dome is a rare feature, as are Ottoman tiles in lunettes over the windows.