CHOOSE WHAT TO EXPLORE

This website is a virtual walk through a section of the Eastern Cemetery (sometimes described as Northern Cemetery) within the 'City of the Dead', the Muslim necropolis of Cairo. This area is known as the Desert of the Mamluks (sahra’ al-mamalik). In the past, it was often erroneously called “Tombs of the Caliphs’. In addition to many other historic monuments, it contains the tombs of remarkable rulers of Egypt four hundred years apart: the illustrious Sultan al-Ashraf Qaitbey (ruled 1468-1496), and the Khedives Tawfiq (1879-92) and Abbas Hilmi II (1892-1914). It is now a lively neighbourhood where ARCHiNOS Architecture has been working for years.

Explore and enjoy!

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A lively urban space ever since Sultan Qaitbey established it in the 1470s.

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A masterpiece of Mamluk architecture at the heart of a large complex.

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A resting place befitting the great ruler.

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A school where young children learned to read and write.

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HAWD OF SULTAN QAITBEY

A charity distributing free drinking water to animals.

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MAUSOLEUM OF AL-GULSHANI AND MAQ'AD OF QAITBEY

The buildings face the square that belonged to the Sultan’s private-use area of the complex.

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ORATORY AND TOMB OF AL-GULSHANI

The jewel box of a building gives a foretaste of Sultan Qaitbey’s later complex.

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A sumptuous reception hall for Sultan’s guests.

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The facilities served the Sultan and his court when they visited the cemetery.

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A highly unusual structure earlier than Qaitbey’s complex.

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A resting place of one of the most intriguing character of his times.

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A mausoleum of the ruler of Egypt Khedive Tawfiq and other members of the royal family.

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A bird eye’s view on a fascinating neighbourhood.

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A ruin of a huge communal residential building  of a type unique to Cairo.

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A charitable public fountain of a very unusual form.

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Only a few ground-floor rooms remain from the huge structures that once faced the square.

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A tall residential building separated the public square from the Sultan’s private-use area.

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Ruins of elaborate waterworks of the kind used in Egypt since the Roman times.

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Like all Qaitbey’s creations, the simple façade is of fine craftsmanship and careful design.

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A mysterious structure whose original purpose is unknown.

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Known as the “Gate of the Soldier”, this was the southern entrance to Qaitbey’s vast complex.

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The gate led directly to the Sultan’s private-use area.

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The venerated Sufi sheikh is buried under a Mamluk-period dome.

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The tombs attached to the mosque are places of popular veneration.

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A Turkish-style burial compound of the family of an important official of the early 19th century.

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The oldest surviving monument in this part of the cemetery.

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Simple in form, but of exquisite craftsmanship.

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Simple, but well-proportioned building resembling those of the preceding period.

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Built for a remarkable lady who was married to the great Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad.

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Resting place of a wife of the unlucky Sultan Hasan, builder of the masterpiece mosque in Cairo.

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A busy hub of a lively neighbourhood.

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Project funded by the European Union