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We don’t know how this area looked in Qaitbey’s time: buildings around the square are of a later date. A gateway preserved next to the maq‘ad led into this personal-use area of the Sultan’s complex from the outside.

The mausoleum of al-Gulshani faces the square to the west. The tomb and the attached prayer hall are believed to have been built for Qaitbey before he became Sultan, and were later incorporated into his larger complex. Eventually, Qaitbey buried in the tomb his prematurely deceased children. The present name comes from an Ottoman-period Sufi shaykh who resided here (apparently a different person from Shaykh al-Gulshani who is buried in a Sufi convent, or takiya, near Bab Zuwayla).

On the southern side of the square stands Sultan Qaitbey’s reception hall, or maq‘ad. This was once part of a palace built by Sultan Qaitbey next to his tomb. The stone carving on the façade is of excellent quality typical of buildings founded by the Sultan. Qaitbey’s maq‘ad is unusual in being an enclosed hall with multiple windows, rather than an open loggia with arches, but in other respects it resembles other such halls in Cairo.

In the past years, artists, both Egyptian and visiting from various countries, have decorated the small square and surrounding spaces with their works.

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