The gateway apparently led into Sultan Qaitbey’s complex from the western side. It was originally covered with a trilobed hood like the one in the porch of al-Gulshani on the other side of the square, but much simpler. The upper part of the building has been remodelled, so only a few remnants of the hood remain. Also, the arched gate leading from the square is a later replacement. The outer gate, however, is from Qaitbey’s times and the craftsmanship of its joggled voussoirs is so outstanding that one has to be reminded that they are structural keystones of the arch, not applied decoration.
In Mamluk Cairo, the gateway into a house, or palace, or mosque was never straight-through, but always doglegged, to preserve the privacy of the interiors. This is also the case here.