GIFT OF SOME CAIRO MOSQUES AND THEIR FOUNDERS BY THE SAME AUTHOR RAMBLES IN CAIRO With Illustrations. 6s. 6d. net. " The author's selection of material is judicious and her manner of using it is interesting. The accounts of the mosques of El-Azhar and Edh-Dhaher are particularly good. She has taken her audience to the most noteworthy mosques of the city. . . . She reveals the strength of her reserves in the valuable chronological appendix. A discriminating biblio- graphy is included, also an excellent plan made by the Survey of Egypt." Athenceum. "A popular guide to Cairo, to which is appended a chronological table of the principal historical monu- ments, a list of authorities, a glossary of terms ahd an index. There are good photographic illustrations and a large folding plan of the medieval monuments of the city." Times Literary Supplement. CONSTABLE & COMPANY LTD SEBII. OF SULTAN QAirsAv AT JERUSALEM. SOME CAIRO MOSQUES AND THEIR FOUNDERS BY MRS. R. L. DEVONSHIRE Author of " JR ambles in Cairo." LONDON: CONSTABLE & COMPANY LIMITED 1921 First Published 1921 DEDICATED BY GRACIOUS PERMISSION TO HIS HIGHNESS FOUAD I SULTAN OF EGYPT INTRODUCTION THOUGH the ten chapters which are comprised in this volume have been arranged in chronological order, they by no means represent a continuous historical series. They rather form a collection of histori- cal essays concerning a few of those monuments which interested me particularly among the rich treasures of Moslem art to be found in Cairo. I had begun to collect the materials for them before special war circumstances induced me to write Rambles in Cairo for the benefit of the soldiers stationed here, and, in that work, I purposely avoided a detailed mention of these mosques, hoping that I might yet carry out my previous intention. In the meanwhile, I utilised some of the materials for a few articles in the Cairo Sphinx, which will be found to be practically embodied in the present volume. As this is merely intended for ordinary readers and not for specialists, I have thought it better to abstain from too many notes of reference, vii INTRODUCTION especially as I cannot claim to have discovered any little-known Arab sources, but have practi- cally confined myself to Maqrizy and Ibn lyas, whilst I have been glad to make use of the works of Western writers, such as Marcel, Van Berchem, Franz, Herz, Lane-Poole, Margoliouth, Creswell, and others. I have also to thank the last-named for nearly all the photographs which serve to illustrate this book. The chronological table appended is taken from that of Rambles in Cairo, but the latter appeared before Captain Creswell's Brief Chronology of the Muhammadan Monuments in Egypt, and, therefore, contained errors which had, until then, been accepted and which have now been corrected. H. C. DEVONSHIRE. CAIRO, 1920. CONTENTS PAGE Introduction vii I. The Mosque of Es Saleh Talayeh . i II. The College of Sultan Es Saleh Negm ed Din Ayub . . .11 III. The Tomb of Sultan Es Saleh Negm ed Din Ayub . . . .19 IV. The Tomb of Queen Shagarat ed Durr 30 V. The Tomb of the Ummayad Sheykh Zein ed Din Yussef ... 40 VI. The Khanqa of Sultan Beybars el Gashenkir 49 VII. The Tombs of Sangar el Gawly and Selar 59 VIII. The Epoch of Sultan Qaitbay . 70 IX. The Mosque of Khairbek . . 101 X. The Mosque of Malika Safiya . in Index 129 LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Sebilof Sultan Qaitbay at Jerusalem. . . Frontispiece Facing page Mosque of Saleh Talayeh. General view (in 1918) . - 2 Mosque of Saleh Talayeh. Detail of ornament . . 4 Stucco window from Mosque of Saleh Talayeh now in Arab Museum, Cairo ..... 8 College of Saleh Negm ed Din Ayub. Ornament of north-west facade . . . . . .12 College of Saleh Negm ed Din Ayub. Minaret, south- east side ....... 16 Tomb of Saleh Negm ed Din Ayub. General view (in 1918) 18 Tomb of Saleh Negm ed Din Ayub. Remains of porch 26 Tomb of Shagarat ed Durr. Mihrab ... 32 Tomb of Shagarat ed Durr. South-east fa9ade (1918). 36 Tomb of Zein ed Din Yussef. Interior of Dome . 42 Tomb of Zein ed Din Yussef. South liwan . . 44 Tomb of Zein ed Din Yussef. Dome ... 46 Khanpa of Beybars el Gashenkir. Minaret . . 52 Khanpa of Beybars el Gashenkir. Porch ... 58 Tombs of Selar and Sangar el Gawly. North fa?ade . 60 Tombs of Selar and Sangar el Gawly. Interior of pray- ing hall ........ 62 xi LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Facing page Tombs of Selar and Sangar el Gawly. Carved stone screen 64 Tombs of Selar and Sangar el Gawly. Screens seen from yard 66 Endowment house of Sultan Qaitbay ... 74 Mosque of Ezbek el Yussefy. Sebil facade . . 80 Dome el Fadawiya. Detail of ornament ... 82 Madrassa of Sultan Qaitbay at Qala'at el Kabsh. Detail of interior ....... 86 Sebil-Kuttab of Sultan Qaitbay .... 96 Mosque of Sheykh Sultan Shah. Interior . . .98 Mosque of Khairbek. North-west fa9ade . . . 100 Mosque of Khairbek. Porch 102 Mosque of Khairbek. Interior .... 104 Mausoleum of Khairbek at Aleppo . . . .106 Mosque of Malika Safiya. Porch and steps . .no Mosque of Malika Safiya. Minaret . . . .118 Mosque of Malika Safiya. Interior . . . .120 CHAPTER I THE MOSQUE OF ES SALEH TALAYEH MUCH interest is attached to this building by the fact that it was practically the last Fatimite monument erected in Cairo, in the year 1160, just as the dynasty was about to fall. It was already much enfeebled ; one child khalife succeeded the other, ruling in name only, as did the last Merovingian kings, whilst a powerful wazir, like the Frank Mayor of the Palace, was the actual autocrat whose hands wielded royal authority. The Wazir Talayeh ibn Ruzziq, founder of this mosque, when he came into power, called himself El Malek es Saleh, thus assuming a royal title, as did the Ayubite and Mameluke Sultans who came after him. According to Maqrizy, he was a man not only of a strong character, but of a remarkable intellect ; himself a poet and the author of a religious tract concern- ing the Shiite faith which he professed, he used to hold at his palace gatherings of literary men who came from all parts to honour him and hear B SOME CAIRO MOSQUES him repeat his poems ; his liberality and hospi- tality were proverbial. His history is a very romantic one : a very pious and fervent Shiite already in his youth, he journeyed to Mesopo- tamia in order to visit the shrine of the Imam Aly b. Abu Taleb, in company with several other pilgrims. The imam of the shrine was at that time a certain Ibn Ma 'sun, who gave hospitality to the pilgrims ; in the night, Ibn Abu Taleb appeared to Ibn Ma'sun in a vision and said to him : " Among the pilgrims whom thou hast entertained, one man, whose name is Talayeh ibn Ruzziq, is under my protection ; tell him to go to Egypt, of which he will become Governor. " In the morning the imam sent to ask if any of the pilgrims bore this name, desiring that he should come to speak with him. Talayeh came forward and he told him of the dream he had had concerning him. Acting upon this prophecy the son of Ruzziq went to Egypt where he was eventually made Governor of Ushmunein. Egypt at that time (1149) was in great danger from the Franks of Syria who had gradually come nearer the frontier and who had just taken the town of Ascalon, while Norman ships from Sicily, landing near the town of Tennis on the 2 MOSQUE OF SALEH TALAYEH. GENERAL VIEW (IN 1918). THE MOSQUE OF ES SALEH TALAYEH Menzaleh Lake, had pillaged the town and retired, carrying away many captives and valuable goods. The reigning Khalife, Ez Zaher b'amr Illah, was a debauched youth whose vices were the indirect cause of his death ; he was murdered, as well as his two brothers, by his own Wazir, Abbas, amidst an appalling scene of horror. Abbas, by the same opportunity, seized most of the riches which the royal palace contained, but did not attempt to appropriate the crown. He fetched the murdered Ez Zaher's baby son, El Faiz, and brought him on his shoulder upon the scene of carnage ; the unhappy child was so terrified that he fell into an epileptic fit and after- wards remained subject to similar attacks until the end of his short life. The revolution was not well received by the negro Guard of the late Khalife nor by the women of the Court, and the latter sent an urgent appeal to Ushmunein, begging Talayeh to come to the rescue ; they went so far as to send him locks of their hair, " the strongest possible sign of entreaty in a Muslima," l says Lane-Poole, who borrows from Osama, an eye- witness, a most dramatic account of this tragedy. Talayeh made a triumphant entry into Cairo, 1 History of Egypt in the Middle Ages, Methuen, 1914, p. 173. 3 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES carrying a lance decorated by ladies 5 tresses and followed by a numerous army of partisans, which increased as he progressed. Abbas fled to Syria, where he came to a tragic end at the hands of the Franks, and Ibn Ruzziq, donning the robes of the wazirate, installed himself in his place. He had the murdered Khalife interred in the royal mausoleum, ordered the execution of guilty persons and proceeded to reorganise the realm. The little Khalife's tender years left the Wazir an absolutely free hand, and historians agree in acknowledging that his rule was a wise and beneficent one. When El Faiz died in 1160, at the age of eleven, the Wazir sought to give him a successor, and an aged prince was presented to him as being the nearest relative of the deceased. He was about to appoint him when one of his confidants whispered in his ear : " Thy pre- decessor was wiser when he chose as Khalife a boy of five years." Struck by this remark, Talayeh rejected the old man who had been suggested to him, chose a boy named 'Abdallah, a grandson of the Khalife El Hafez le-din Illah, and had him proclaimed under the name of El 'Aded le-din Illah. He gave the new Khalife his daughter in marriage, with a superb dowry, 4 MOSQUE OF S^LEH TALAYEH. DETAIL OF ORNAMENT. THE MOSQUE OF ES SALEH TALAYEH and, thus having secured a royal figure-head who owed absolutely everything to him, he resumed the role of ruler de facto, which he so ably filled. However, his stern and perhaps contemptuous rule had made for him many enemies, and he was assassinated in the following year. Maqrizy relates the story of his death in one of his delight- fully realistic pages, which help to form an idea of the manners and customs of the time. He says that Talayeh, who was about to start lor his daily ride to the palace, remembered that the day was the anniversary of the assassination of the Imam 'Aly ; he therefore ordered a waterskin to be brought for his ablutions, put on the special costume of the Imamiya sect, and performed the long prayer, prostrating himself one hundred and twenty times. After this, as he went out to mount his horse, probably feeling somewhat giddy from the exertion, he lost his balance and fell, dropping his turban, which became unrolled. He sat down in the vestibule and a certain Ibn ed Deif was sent for, who received a large salary for making up the turbans of Khalifes and Wazirs. As Ibn ed Deif began his work, one of his assistants respectfully suggested to the Wazir that this accident was a warning and that it 5 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES would be more prudent to give up riding out on that day. Ibn Ruzziq replied that superstition was of the Devil and that nothing would keep him from his ride. He then rode to the Khalife 's palace and was fatally stabbed as he entered it. He did not die at once and, the Khalife having hastened to his side, he asked him to punish the supposed instigator of the crime, an aunt of El 'Aded. This princess was executed then and there, before the dying man's eyes ; some historians seem to hint that she was a scapegoat and that the Khalife himself had a hand in the matter. Ibn Ruzziq also had time to see his son, named Ruzziq, as Talayeh's father had been, appointed Wazir in his place, and to express his regrets, firstly, that he had not conquered Jerusa- lem and exterminated the Franks ; secondly, that he had appointed Shawar as Governor of Upper Egypt (and, indeed, Shawar lived to depose and murder Ruzziq ibn Talayeh, and was instrumental in bringing about the fall of the Fatimite Dynasty and the re-establishment of the Sunnite instead of the Shiite doctrines) ; and thirdly, that he had built his mosque close to the city gates, which caused it to be utilised in military operations. 6 THE MOSQUE OF ES SALEH TALAYEH His purpose in building it had been to provide a shrine for the remains of the martyr Hussein, so deeply revered by the Shiites, which lay buried at Ascalon. 1 Seeing the Franks coming nearer to that town, Es Saleh had these remains transferred to Cairo . However, when his mosque was finished, the young Khalife El Faiz objected to the relics of the saint being placed there, declaring that only in a Khalife 's palace could they be suitably interred. Talayeh, who was, no doubt, powerful enough to have his own way, deferred to the wishes of the epileptic child who died within a few months and the Meshhed or sanctuary called El Hassanein was built near the palace, on the site of the present mosque of Sayedna Hussein, to receive the holy relics. Meanwhile, he com- pleted his mosque and provided it with a cistern fed by a water wheel, which pumped up the Nile water from the Khalig ; it was not preached in until the reign of El Muezz Aybek, a hundred years later. In 1302, the great earthquake which worked such havoc in Cairo monuments, did not spare 1 A relic of the mausoleum at Ascalon in which the head of Hussein had been enshrined still exists in the Haram mosque at Hebron, in the form of a magnificent minbar (pulpit) of geometrical woodwork. This minbar was made for the mosque at Ascalon by order of Badr el Gamaly and is dated 494 A.H. 7 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES the Fatimite mosque ; a popular legend attributes the damage to the monument's own indignation at being deprived of the honour of housing the holy martyr's remains, but gives no explanation of the falling in of other mosques. Whilst the Emir Selar undertook to repair El Azhar and Beybars el Gashenkir the mosque of El Hakim, Seif ed Din Bektimur, Gukandar or polo-master at the court of Mohammed en Nasser, took charge of Saleh Talayeh's. He endowed it with a very beautiful pulpit and took care to record by an inscription that he had paid for it out of his own pocket and in order to make him- self agreeable to God. Like the older minbar at Qus 1 and that which Lagin placed in the mosque of Ibn Tulun, it is made up of small geometrical panels, delicately carved, and is without the side door which is to be found in later pulpits and which somewhat breaks up the design. The keel-shaped stilted arches, of the kind commonly called Fatimite or Persian, are decorated with very fine stucco inscriptions in late Kufic. 1 Qus, a town in the province of Miniya, Upper Egypt, of which Saleh Talayeh was at one time Governor. An ancient mosque, many times restored, in the centre of the town, contains a very fine minbar, bearing the date 550 and the name of El Malek es Saleh. It is a masterpiece of wood- work in the Ayubite style. 8 STUCCO WINDOW FROM MOSQUE OF SALEH TALAYEH NOW IN ARAB MUSEUM, CAIRO. THE MOSQUE OF ES SALEH TALAYEH This script, sometimes called Karmatic (though without much justification), is here seen in its most ornamental form, and is the more interesting that the Naskhy form of Arabic writing was introduced from Syria by Saladin in the next few years and found its place in every monu- ment later in date than Talayeh's mosque. The arches are connected with each other by wooden beams, as is usually the case, and this detail, which to my mind often disfigures an arcade, becomes in this case an additional ornament, the wood being covered with delicate carving. The centre arch is broader than the others, a nave effect being produced. The outer wall was pierced by beautiful open-work stucco win- dows, of which important traces remain in the south-east wall ; the finest specimen was removed to the Arab museum, and I have been able to obtain a photograph of it through the kindness of the Curator, Aly Bey Bahgat. The general plan of the mosque was evidently the usual one, with a central court or sahn surrounded by four porticoes, three of which are now destroyed. The mosque has until lately been crowded and suffocated with hovels which have invaded the interior even; the Comite de Conservation des 9 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES Monuments Arabes has now begun clearing these away with the result that a most interesting discovery was made, viz: that the monument originally stood on a basement of vaulted shops and that access to it was obtained by a flight of stone steps leading up from the street to the main entrance. The level of the street had risen so much that this very effective feature had entirely disappeared. Apparently it must have existed, though equally unsuspected, in other mosques, for excavations round the mosque of Serghatmish, below that of Ibn Tulun, led to a similar dis- covery that of very steep stone steps leading up to the base of the characteristic minaret of the latter. It is probable that a great deal more original work will be found in the course of cleaning Es Saleh's monument ; already two doors with scalloped edges have emerged, one of which can be seen in the photograph. A fine band of historical inscription which ran round the north and west fa$ades and of which Professor Van Berchem could only read a part, the rest being hidden, will now appear in its entirety, perhaps even continuing on the south side. The minaret has been many times restored, and the upper part of it, from the gallery, is Turkish and quite recent. 10 CHAPTER II THE COLLEGE OF SULTAN ES SALEH NEGM ED DlN AYtFB VISITORS in Cairo who are interested in Arab art and Mameluke architecture seldom fail to become acquainted with the principal monuments in the Suq en Nahassin ; i.e. the tomb of Qalaun and the college of Barquq ; they are not difficult to find, and their vicinity to the entrance of the Khan Khalily gives them an additional chance against being overlooked. The madrassa or college of Es Saleh Negm ed Dm Ayub, however, suffered so much from neglect before it came under the supervision of the Comite de Conservation des Monuments Arabes that there is not much left of it to interest anyone who has not made a special study of the subject. Though intended to form an organic whole, it consisted in reality of two colleges : the south madrassa and the north madrassa ; and a corridor divided the two, as is the case with the mosque ii SOME CAIRO MOSQUES and mausoleum of Qalaun, on the other side of the road. The principal door, surmounted by a handsome minaret, formed the entrance of this corridor, and the two are the least damaged part of the struc- ture ; under the minaret, a portion remains of a rich wooden ceiling in octagonal caissons, not unlike the remains still to be found in the mosque of En Nasser on the citadel and in the ruined palace of Beshtak, in this very neighbourhood. Absolutely nothing remains of the south ma- drassa, save the lower part of the outer wall, against which houses and shops have amassed themselves, and now form part of the Shoe Bazaar. Of the north college there remains the large waggon vault of the west liwdn, still used for worship, although uncared for, with that strange mixture of piety and indifference which is charac- teristic of Cairo Moslems. A very inadequate ablution fountain has been cleared for use in the centre of a yard almost blocked by debris and refuse of all sorts, and, across this heaped-up space, ruined portions of the east liwdn can be seen : the springing of the great arch and three mihrdbs (prayer-niches) now devoid of any ornament. Outside, the fa9ade of the madrassa is still visible 12 COLLEGE OF SALEH NEGM ED DIN AYUB. ORNAMENT OF NORTH-WEST FACADE. COLLEGE OF ES SALEH NEGM ED DlN AYffB and very interesting to students on account of the link which it forms in the history of architec- ture between Fatimite monuments such as the charming little mosque of El Aqmar and the great buildings of the fourteenth century. Some beautiful decorative motifs still adorn that part of the facade which touches the porch ; the other extremity, where it joins the Sultan's mausoleum, built some ten years later, is hidden by a very graceful Turkish monument, the sebil kuttdb, erected by Khosrow Pasha, who also superin- tended the building of the pretty little Turkish mosque on the Citadel, usually called Sidi Sariya. Though there is so little architecture left of the once grandiose college mosque of Saleh Negm ed Din, the history of its founder and of his cele- brated spouse, Queen Shagarat ed Durr, is one of the most interesting in the mediaeval chronicles of Egypt. A son of the great El Kamel (and per- haps a grandson of Saladin, for El Kamel had married Saladin's only daughter, Munissa, though I do not know whether she was Es Saleh 's mother), so well known in European history by his wars and negotiations with the Crusaders, Saleh 's youth was entirely overshadowed by the struggle between Moslems and Christians ; at the age 13 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES of fifteen, he was handed over to the Franks by his father as a hostage, in exchange for the Pope's legate, to guarantee the execution of the treaty according to which Damietta was evacuated by the Crusaders. El Kamel's death left him in possession of some parts of Mesopotamia, whilst his elder brother, El 'Adel II, was master of Egypt, and the Emir Yunis, who assumed the royal title of "El Guad " became prince of Syria. Negm ed Dm immediately formed the intention of supplanting his brother, and, as a preliminary manoeuvre began by persuading Yunis to exchange his Syrian principality for Es Saleh's Mesopotamian inheritance, the object of the latter being to find himself sufficiently near to entertain some intrigues in Egypt. In this he succeeded so fully that, when El 'Adel marched against him in 1237, it was to find him- self surrounded with traitors who arrested and deposed him, and then called upon Saleh to come and take possession of the throne. Whatever promises the new Sultan may have made to the treacherous Emirs, he certainly did not keep them, for, no sooner was he firmly established on the throne than he had every one of them arrested and deprived of his rank and power. COLLEGE OF ES SALEH NEGM ED DlN AYtfB He created on this occasion an entirely new corps of Mamelukes or white slaves, strong, handsome young men from the territory of Kipchak, and gave this new bodyguard the name of halqa or " belt " ; he did not lodge them near his predecessor's palace on the Citadel, but built for them a castle or barracks on the island of Roda ; hence the name of Baharites (from the river) given to these Mame- lukes. The Emir Yiinis, who seems to have been innocent of any treachery towards either of the Ayubite princes, was deprived by Saleh of the Mesopotamian provinces which he had been persuaded to accept, and forbidden access to Egypt. The unhappy man sought refuge with the Franks at Acca ; the latter, after charging him with a heavy price for their protection, sold him to Ismail, Prince of Damascus, who put him to death. Further negotiations ensued between the Cru- saders and the Prince of Damascus, and a coalition was formed between them and other members of Negm ed Din's family which would probably have overcome the latter if he had not called in to his aid a nomad horde from Inner Asia, the SOME CAIRO MOSQUES Kharizmians, who turned the balance in his favour. With their assistance he conquered Ghazza, Jerusalem, which had been handed over to the Franks by their Syrian allies, and all the fortified places on the seashore ; he sent many prisoners to Cairo and a collection of Christian heads with which to decorate the gates of the city. This victory, though great, was not decisive, and three years later, in 1247, Saleh was at Damascus at the head of his troops, when he was recalled to Cairo by the news that the French, under St. Louis, had undertaken the ninth Crusade and landed in Egypt. The Sultan, very ill at the time, was unable to ride ; he had to be carried all the way from Damascus to Cairo in a litter. He seems to have been suffering from tuberculosis and from a malignant ulcer on one leg, and he bore the wearying pain which this must have caused with admirable fortitude. A weaker man would have remained in his capital and sent another commander to lead an army against the invaders, but he had himself carried to a camp on the Ashmun canal, from which he organised the defence. A renowned tribe of Bedawin, the Beni Kananeh, were chosen to garrison Damietta, and an advanced guard, under 16 ? COLLEGE OF SALEH NEGM ED DIN AYUB. MINARET, SOUTH-EAST SIDE. COLLEGE OF ES SALEH NEGM ED DlN AY&B the Emir Fakhr ed Din, waited on the shore. This advanced guard must have presented a very fine appearance, for the French chronicler Join- ville, whose account of the ninth Crusade makes such fascinating reading, declares that " we found the Soldan's whole army on the shore ; they were very fine people to look at, for the Soldan wore a golden armour on which the sun shone resplen- dently." Joinville evidently took the Emir Fakhr ed Din for the Sultan, who was lying ill in his tent near the Ashmun Canal ; the Mameluke historian, Gamal ed Din Abul Mohassen, writes that " ex- treme insubordination prevailed in the army on account of the king's illness and nobody could control the soldiers." Both Joinville and Abul Mohassen agree that the Saracens offered little or no resistance and turned tail after a very few moments. Fakhr ed Din led his army back in the night to the Sultan's camp, making no attempt to defend Damietta, in fact passing the town without stopping ; the Beni Kenaneh, seeing themselves abandoned, were seized with panic and fled, followed by the inhabitants of Damietta, who had only too much cause to remember a former invasion of the town by the Crusaders, c 17 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES St. Louis and his army entered the town without striking a blow, taking possession of all that Saleh had gathered there to prepare the town for a protracted siege. It was a terrible disappointment for the dying Sultan, and he hastened to visit it on the white- livered garrison, after having salved his con- science by obtaining from the Sheykhs, who were his advisers in religious law, a unanimous opinion that a soldier who deserted his post deserved to lose his life. Every one of the Beni Kenaneh chiefs was hanged, and Maqrizy even relates that one of them, who had with him a beloved son, was not allowed to die first but forced to witness the boy's execution. Negm ed Din did not live more than a few months after that, but succumbed to the illness which had caused him so much suffering. Shortly before his death he desired to see every man who considered that he had some grievance against him and gave orders that the wrongs of each be redressed. He died at the age of forty, in Novem- ber, 1247, under the walls of El Mansura, where he had encamped after the Damietta disaster. This city had been built by his father, El Kamel, and he himself had endowed it with a mosque of which nothing now remains. 18 TOMB OF SALEH NEGM ED DIN AYUB. GENERAL VIEW (IN 1918). CHAPTER III THE TOMB OF SULTAN ES SALEH NEGM ED DlN AYUB THE death of Sultan Negm ed Din left his army, and, in fact, the whole of Egypt, in the greatest danger, and it is probable that St. Louis and his Crusaders would have conquered the country with little difficulty if they had realised their opportunity and pushed their advantage farther instead of lingering foolishly and only reaching El Mansura two whole months after their victory at Damietta. Though the Franks did not know it, Saleh's turbulent Mamelukes were without a leader ; he had named no successor, and his natural heir, his son Turin Shah, was at that time in the far distant town of Hisn Kayfa, on the River Tigris ; his second son, Khalil, was only a baby. How- ever, the Emirs themselves were as ignorant as the enemy of the true state of things. Although Es Saleh had left no son on the spot to rule over them, he had left a widow, Princess Shagarat 1 ed 1 See A. de Merionec, Chagaratt-Ouddour, in the Bulletin de rinstitut Egyptien, 1888. 19 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES Durr (tree, or spray of pearls) , and she, by her amazing intelligence and strength of will, saved the situation. Assisted by the Emir Fakhr ed Din, who commanded the army, the eunuch Gamal ed Din Mohsen, and a slave called Suheyl, she decided to keep the Sultan's death a secret until the arrival of Turan Shah, to whom she had hastened to send a messenger. It was no new thing for her to wield sovereign authority ; her husband, who had the greatest confidence in her judgment, referred to her in everything, and she had been left in Cairo as Regent during most of his campaigns. It is not the least attractive point in the charac- ter of this extraordinary woman that she was always perfectly content with the actual power she possessed, and seemed to have no desire for the appearance of it. Originally a slave of Turcoman origin, like Saleh's halqa or body-guard of Mame- lukes, her singular beauty and intelligence had induced the Sultan to marry her, and she had given him one son, little Khalil. She had followed her husband on this campaign, probably on account of his severe illness, and it is obvious that she had been holding the reins of authority for some time before his death. 20 THE TOMB OF ES SALEH NEGM ED DlN AY&B According to Maqrizy, largely quoted by the modern European historians who have yielded to the desire to repeat this romantic tale, Shagarat ed Durr had the body of the Sultan secretly washed, probably embalmed, and placed in a coffin, and she herself, with her little boy and a few trusty retainers, sailed up the Nile with it in a small boat and laid it in a vault of the Castle of Roda. It remained there until the year 1250, when she transferred it to the mausoleum, which she built for him next to his madrassa in the Suq el Nahassin. In the meanwhile, she concealed his death very successfully ; she called an assembly of the princi- pal Emirs, and announced to them that the Sultan was very seriously ill and wished to delegate his authority to his son on his return, with the assistance of the Emir Fakhr ed Din as Atabek, i.e. Generalissimo and Viceroy. The Emirs willingly swore an oath of fealty, as did the Governor of Cairo and all persons in authority ; decrees were promulgated as emanating from the sick Sultan and bearing his signature, a clever forgery by Suheyl, the slave, who also signed all the current correspondence dictated by the princess herself. Food was carefully prepared 21 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES for the royal patient, and taken to his tent ; people who wished to see him were asked to postpone their visit for a few days, when he would no doubt be better able to receive them. Not content with managing the ordinary affairs of the State, Shagarat ed Durr seems even to have directed the military operations, and it was under her guidance that the Emir Fakhr ed Din called up reinforcements and the fleet from Cairo, so that when the Franks reached the north-east bank of the Ashmun Canal, a large Moslem force was waiting for them on the other side. For a few days the two armies, separated by the narrow waterway, limited themselves to skirmishes, a few prisoners being made every day. But, on the Qth February, 1249, a Bedawy traitor revealed a ford to the Crusaders who crossed the canal so rapidly that the Moslems, taken unawares, were unable to oppose them. If the Franks had kept together and made the attack in force, the battle would have been theirs, and Egypt with it ; but Count Robert of Artois, St. Louis' younger brother, who com- manded the second column, refused to keep his place or to wait for the rest and dashed on heed- lessly right through the Egyptian camp. The 22 THE TOMB OF ES SALEH NEGM ED DlN AYfiB Moslems were surprised in their own tents. Fakhr ed Din, who was enjoying a bath at the time, hastened to mount his horse, but was killed in the battle, and many of the Egyptian foot-soldiers disbanded and fled. Saleh's highly trained halqa of mamelukes, however, rallied after the first shock, and, led by the Emir Beybars el Bundoqdary, who later became Sultan, charged at full gallop on the attacking Franks and broke their columns ; a furious battle ensued, in which fifteen hundred Crusaders lost their lives and which only ceased when the night came. Everything went badly for the French after that : their army was practically surrounded by enemies, and misfortune followed upon mis- fortune. The place reeked with dead bodies ; St. Louis had hired a hundred natives to clear them out, and the work lasted a whole week ; the labourers threw the bodies of Moslems into the Nile, and buried Christian corpses in one huge pit. Presently an epidemic fell upon the army, already ravaged by scurvy caused by eating corpse-fed fish during Lent. Joinville, always picturesque in his descrip- tions, tells us how, being himself ill in bed, his 23 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES chaplain was celebrating a private Mass for him when the poor priest was seized with an attack of the malady and looked as if about to faint. The seneschal rose from his bed and went to support him, and thus he finished his Mass, " but he never chanted again, for he died." In the Moslem camp, circumstances had changed owing to the arrival of Turan Shah, who was met by several emirs, his father's death now being officially announced . His stepmother grace- fully handed to him the authority that she had wielded with so much success, and the Mame- lukes acknowledged him without any difficulty. He seems, however, to have been selfish and violent, and after a very few days, he became hated of the Emirs, who regretted the rule of their master's capable and ingratiating widow. Turan Shah was, nevertheless, an efficient general, and, after further operations, the French were completely defeated and the King made prisoner, as well as his principal knights. A house still exists at Mansura which is said by legend to have been the prison of the saintly monarch. Turan Shah afterwards brought his prisoners with him to Faraskur, on the Nile, and negotiations began, in the course of which the 24 THE TOMB OF ES SALEH NEGM ED DlN amount of St. Louis' ransom was fixed. But Turan Shah's violence and debaucheries had finally disgusted the Mamelukes, and he sealed his own fate by his insolence to his stepmother, whom he accused of having squandered the treasury of the State. Shagarat ed Durr, rightly indignant, complained to the Emirs, who immedi- ately decided to slaughter him. His murder was attended by horrible circum- stances, and the chroniclers gloat over the grue- some details of the wretched young man's death. Beybars el Bundoqdary, the gallant Emir who had led the victorious charge of the Mamelukes at El Mansura, dealt him the first blow as he was swimming in the Nile, where he had tried to escape from his enemies. The devout King of France, a prisoner in a wooden tower overhanging the river, witnessed the whole tragedy, and must have felt thoroughly nauseated when one of the murderers, the Emir Fares Aqtay, burst into the room where he was sitting and offered him the bleeding heart of the victim. It has been said that the Mamelukes, rather than choose a Sultan from among them- selves, invited St. Louis to occupy the empty throne and that he refused it, but this seems 25 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES a very unlikely story, and as Marcel, who repeats it, does not quote his authority, I have no means of investigating the matter. The course that they adopted was nearly as astonishing ; they decided to enthrone a woman, an almost unparalled episode in Moslem history, 1 and Shagarat ed Durr, who had ruled them so cleverly and wisely in fact, was asked to assume the royal authority also in name. They were even so desirous to please her that they chose as atabek, or viceroy, one of themselves, the Emir Aybek Ezz ed Din, who was known to be her lover. Marcel goes so far as to state that she loved him before the death of Es Saleh. We do 1 A Moslem Princess, of Tartar origin, Balqish Jehan Raziya, reigned in Delhi in the same century (1236-1239). A daughter of the conqueror Shams ed Din, she was chosen as his heir by her father, who pleaded her courage, intelligence, and literary attainments to justify his choice. One of her brothers, Firuz Shah, happened to be in Delhi when Shams ed Din died, and seized upon the throne, but was soon deposed by the emirs, who were disgusted by his cowardly conduct, and, remembering her father's wish, proclaimed Raziya as Sultana. She used to don male attire and to ride in person at the head of her troops. In 1239 sne was van " quished and assassinated by another brother, Moezz ed Din Bahrain Shah. (See E. Blochet : Histoire des Sultans Mamelouks, de Moufazzalibn AbilFazdil, Patrologia Orientalis, Vol. XII.) 26 TOMB OF SAI.EH NEGM ED DIN AYUB. REMAINS OF PORCH. THE TOMB OF ES SALEH NEGM ED DlN AYUB not know whether her little son, Khalil, was still living at the time ; no mention is made of him afterwards, and he probably died in his infancy ; but it is to be supposed that that was only after the Queen had struck some coins (one of them is still at the British Museum), on which she styles herself Mother of Khalil, the Victorious King, an epithet given to sovereigns in their lifetime only. Although the Mamelukes made much of their new " Sultan, " and her name was men- tioned at the Friday prayers in all the mosques, Shagarat ed Durr seems to have taken her exalted position very calmly and to have applied her- self diligently to her duties. First of all, she hastened to complete the negotiations with the Crusaders, by which a ransom was paid for the King of France, Damietta handed over to the Moslems, and the remaining prisoners set free. She also pushed forward the building of the mausoleum of her late husband, which monument forms the subject of this chapter. It stands at the north end of Es Saleh's college, and Maqrizy relates that the hall reserved for the Sheykh of the Malakites was pulled down in order to make sufficient room for it. Much more of it remains than of the adjoining college, 27 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES and it is a very interesting and attractive little monument. The upper part of the porch is gone, and the vestibule has been rebuilt, but the funeral chamber still shows some notable features and the dome is intact ; there even remains a good deal of the original pierced plaster windows, with a few fragments of glass. The mihrdb (prayer- niche) is unfortunately denuded of its decoration, but it is still flanked by two columns of which the remarkable marble always excites curiosity. It is a breccia, or compound of a variety of minerals, granite, green slate, verde antico marbles, welded together by a natural process, with a beautiful polished surface. Two other columns, exactly like these, frame the wonderful stucco mihrdb of Mohammed en Nasser's madrassa on the opposite side of the street, built fifty years later. A well-known geological expert tells me that this is the kind of marble that is found in the quarries of Wady el Hamamat, in Upper Egypt, and their similarity leads me to think that they must have a common origin. Perhaps they all four came from the great Fatimite palace on the site of which Es Saleh's college was built ; the Fatimites, not having so many Mediterranean 28 THE TOMB OF ES SALEH NEGM ED DlN AYtfB communications as did their successors, who imported marble columns and other materials from Syria and from the Greek islands, probably made more use of Egyptian products ; the name of Emerald Palace, given to one of their royal dwellings now entirely disappeared would sug- gest that the emerald mines were made to con- tribute to its embellishment, and Wady el Hamamat is on the way to those mines. The Sultan's cenotaph is cased in beautiful carved wood in Ayubite style, each small panel bearing a charming motif in strong relief, and the encircling inscription standing boldly out against an arabesque background. 29 CHAPTER IV THE TOMB OF QUEEN SHAGARAT ED DURR THOUGH the widow of Sultan Saleh Negm ed Din Ayub seems in no wise to have had her beautiful head turned by her elevation to the throne after the murder of her brutal stepson, Turan Shah, she neverthe- less took steps to justify and consolidate her position. She assumed on official documents, inscriptions and coins, the name of Umm Khalil, to which she was entitled, having borne a son to the late Sultan, followed by the adjectives Salehiya, an allusion to her having belonged to Saleh, and Mostassemiya, the latter intended as a delicate flattery to the Abbasside khalife at Baghdad, Mostassem b'lllah. It was important that she should conciliate him ; for, according to custom, the rulers of Egypt and other Moslem countries had to receive the sanction of Islam's spiritual head before their rule was considered as being 30 THE TOMB OF QUEEN SHAGARAT ED DURR legitimate, and one of the first acts of the Emirs, when they placed their queen upon the Sultan's throne, was to send dispatches to the Khalife, asking for his blessing. Mostassem b'lllah, however, indignantly refused to countenance this feminist innovation, and replied to the Emirs' letter in the following scathing terms : :< Since no man among you is worthy of being Sultan I will come in person and bring you one. Know you not that the prophet may he be exalted has said : * Woe unto nations governed by woman ? ' On receipt of this epistle, Shagarat ed Durr, much too wise to manifest any rebellious feeling, abdicated in favour of the Regent, Aybek, who was proclaimed in great pomp, under the title of El Malek el Moezz. Her partisans among the Emirs, however, caused him to marry her solemnly, and the business of the State continued as before, for Shagarat ed Durr's new husband was quite content to leave the reins of administra- tion in her hands while he enjoyed the honours and prerogatives of a reigning Sultan. His kingship, however, was not accepted so unanim- ously by the Emirs as had been that of his con- sort, and the Salehy mamelukes (i.e. those who SOME CAIRO MOSQUES had belonged to Sultan Saleh) compelled him to share the throne with a child of eight, named Mussa Muzaffar ed Din, a great-grandson of El Kamel, whom they brought from the Yemen for that purpose and who was crowned under the name of El Malek el Ashraf . As time went on, however, the position of El Moezz became stronger ; he rid himself by assassination of his most powerful rival, the Emir Fares ed Din Aqtay; his own personal bravery and capable generalship, displayed in Syrian wars, earned him the devotion of a considerable party of Mamelukes, and, finding the royal descent of his young partner no longer necessary to support his own rule, he deposed the poor little boy and shut him up in a prison, where he died. He neglected, however, to cultivate the good- will of the clever woman whom he had married, and to whom he owed his present exalted position. Shagarat ed Durr, so philosophically indifferent to the visible apparel of power which she had twice gracefully surrendered, first to her un- worthy stepson, Turan Shah, and then into Aybek's own hands, seems to have been a prey to fierce jealousy where her wifely prerogatives were concerned ; whether from a sensitive regret 32 TOMB OF SHAGARAT ED DURR. MIHRAB. THE TOMB OF QUEEN SHAGARAT ED DURR of her waning beauty or whether from a fear of losing influence, it is impossible to say. She had already caused Aybek to divorce the mother of his only son, Aly, a boy of fifteen, and generally opposed the idea of political alliances by marriages with foreign princesses. Aybek by this time was tired of her domination over him and was think- ing of having her assassinated, having moreover been told by a Court astrologer that he would die by the hand of a woman. Maqrizy's account of the way in which she discovered that her husband was intriguing against her is very picturesque. According to him, Aybek, who was away at Umm el Barid, sent to the Citadel a group of Baharite mamelukes, whom he had arrested and who were to be imprisoned there. As these men were standing waiting under the closed balcony where the Queen often sat, one of them, named Idekin, who had held a charge at Court, and was acquainted with her habits, guessed that she was there ; he bowed his head (his hands were probably tied) and said in the Turkish language, which was her mother tongue as well as his own : " I am the Mameluke Idekin, the bashmakdar ; by Allah, Princess, we are quite ignorant of the cause of our arrest. D 33 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES Still, when El Moezz sent to ask for the hand of the Princess of Mausul, we expressed our disapproval on your account. For we owe everything to your kindness and that of your late husband. El Moezz, vexed with our reproaches, has conceived hatred against us and treated us as you perceive. " Shagarat ed Durr signed to him, with her handkerchief, that she had heard his words, and later, when they were all together in the prison, Idekin said to his companions : " El Moezz has imprisoned us, but we have prepared his death." From Shagarat ed Burr's action after this episode, we may conclude that this was the first news she had of her husband's intention to marry the princess of Mausul, for her jealous fury caused this hitherto prudent and diplomatic woman to commit herself irreparably. She wrote to one of Aybek's Syrian enemies, El Malek en Nasser Yussef : " I intend, after putting El Moezz to death, to marry you and place you in possession of the throne of Egypt." En Nasser thought this was some deeply laid trap and made no answer, but informed Aybek's intended father-in-law, Prince Lulu, of Mausul, 34 THE TOMB OF QUEEN SHAGARAT ED DURR who warned him to beware of Shagarat ed Durr, as she was intriguing with El Malek en Nasser. A violent quarrel ensued between husband and wife, followed by Aybek's departure from the palace at the Citadel for the pleasure-house or belvedere of El Luq, which had been erected near the polo ground or midan, and where he often stayed. After a few days, however, he received a messenger from the Queen bearing oaths of love and submission, and he allowed himself to be persuaded. He left the polo ground of Luq late in the afternoon, apparently having been playing, and, reaching the Citadel towards nightfall, repaired at once to the bath. As he entered the bath-hall he was seized by five assassins whom his wife had placed there to await him. She evidently was hiding near by, for when the unfortunate man called her loudly to his assistance, she appeared, and, her anger melting, ordered the murderers to desist ; it was too late, however, and one of them, called Mohsen, said to her : " If we spare him now, he will spare neither you nor us." Faced with the possible consequences of her crime, Shagarat ed Durr seems to have tried to avert them. She sent one of Aybek's fingers, 35 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES with the ring still on it, to the Great Emir, Ezz ed Din el Haleby, with a message offering him the throne, but, as Maqrizy writes, " he did not dare to take so bold a step." She ordered it to be published that the Sultan had died suddenly during the night, and some professional weeping women were brought into the palace, but El Moezz's own Mamelukes refused to believe this story, seized some slave women, and extracted the truth from them by means of torture. There- upon they arrested the Queen and would have slain her but for the interference of the Salehy Mamelukes, her former companions, who, how- ever, could not prevent her being imprisoned in the Red Tower. Seeing herself thus fallen into the hands of her enemies, she destroyed all she could of her pearls and other jewels, by pounding them in a mortar. The Moezzy Mamelukes placed Prince 'Aly on the throne, and his mother, whom Shagarat ed Durr had caused Aybek to divorce and who was living in retirement, came back to the palace in great pomp. The young Sultan handed her former rival to her to do what she liked with. After striking the deposed Queen and insulting her, she had her stripped by her women and 36 THE TOMB OF QUEEN SHAGARAT ED DURR beaten to death with wooden clogs such as are still worn in women's baths. The dead body was flung over the walls of the citadel a prey to pariah dogs ; as Lane-Poole remarks, the end of this woman, who had saved Egypt from the Franks, was like that of Jezebel. 1 After a few days her remains were picked up in a basket and buried in a small mausoleum which she had built for herself during her short undivided reign (1250), near the shrine of Sitta Nefissa. Though this curious little chapel was neglected for centuries, it is now being carefully cleared, and the common mosque which had been built against it is being pulled down to be replaced by a more artistic monument in appropriate style. The work of clearing has brought to light some very interesting and unusual ornamental devices on the south and east fa$ades of the chapel ; the dome has a very archaic outline, only to be met with in one or two specimens of Ayubite domes in Cairo. Inside there is some beautiful plaster work with Kufic inscriptions from the Quran over the mihrdb and three shallower niches, one at least 1 History of Egypt in the Middle Ages. Methuen, 1914. 37 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES of which must have been a door originally. The mihrdb is lined in its upper part with rich Byzantine mosaic in gold and dark colours, and constitutes the oldest example in Cairo of that kind of decoration ; the others, i.e. in the mosques of Qalaun, Ibn Tulun, Taibars and Aqbogha, all dating from the fourteenth century. The remains of the murdered Queen seem to have been placed by her enemies, not in the central vault prepared by herself, but under one of the niches ; the centre was afterwards used for one of the Abbasside khalifes. Some damage seems also to have been done purposely to the little edifice, inscriptions erased, etc., evidently in hatred of the defunct. After a long lapse of years traces still remain in Egypt of the short but efficient rule of this peer- less " Queen of the Moslems." The mahmdl or palanquin which accompanies the sacred kiswa to Mecca every year is said to be a prototype of one in which she accomplished the holy pil- grimage. In the chronicles of the Citadel, we find references to a kind of nightly military concert, called the nauba of the Princess, which the learned French archaeologist, Casanova, understands to have been instituted by the mother 38 THE TOMB OF QUEEN SHAGARAT ED DURR of Khalil, a special musical instrument being used which bore the name of khaliliya. A certain seat in the Hall of Columns was called the Princess' mastaba, and apparently it was there that she sat, behind a curtain, and held levees in connection with the affairs of the king- dom, even after she had surrendered the throne to her second husband and contented herself with reigning under his name instead of her own. 39 CHAPTER V THE TOMB OF THE UMMAYAD SHEYKH ZEIN ED DlN YOSSEF SAVE for a charming legend, very little but his name and the date of his death (A.H. 697 A.D. 1297) is known about the founder of this beautiful tomb, but his genealogy is given by his funeral inscription, and that is sufficiently suggestive to enable one's imagination to form a fancy picture of this holy man. A Sufy, as M. van Berchem can tell us from the titles and qualifications of himself and his ancestors, he belonged to the Prophet's own tribe of the Quraishy and, moreover, was a descendant of the Ummayad khalifes, but it is evident that, far from trying to gather any advantage from his royal pedigree, he lived a quiet and saintly life, thinking more of the joys of Paradise than of political preferment in this world. This family, descended from Ummaya, a notable Quraishy and a relative of the Prophet, produced 40 VMM AY AD SHEYKH ZEIN ED DlN YtiSSEF no fewer than fourteen khalifes, between the time when the ambitious Mu'awiya was elected in the place of the murdered 'Aly (A.D. 66 1) and the massacre of almost the entire family by Es Saffa (the butcher), first Abbasside khalife, in 750. One of these khalifes, El Walid, is looked upon as the builder of the great mosque at Damascus, built upon the site of a ruined Byzan- tine church of which some material, such as columns, etc., were again used for the Moslem edifice. When the descendants of the Prophet's uncle, 1 Abbas, overthrew the Ummayad khalife Marwan, they attempted to exterminate the whole family and very nearly succeeded. According to histo- rians, only two escaped. One, to a remote corner of Arabia, where his descendants were acknowledged as khalifes until the sixteenth century ; our holy Sheykh may have descended from him. The other, named 'Abd er Rahman, had a brilliant destiny. " Most of his relations were exterminated by the ruthless 'Abbassides ; they were hunted down in all parts of the world and slain without mercy. 'Abd er Rahman fled like the rest, but with better fortune, for he reached the banks SOME CAIRO MOSQUES of the Euphrates in safety. One day, as he sat in his tent watching his little boy playing outside, the child ran to him in a fright, and, going out to discover the cause, 'Abd er Rahman saw the village in confusion and the black standards of the 'Abbassides on the horizon. Hastily seizing up his child, the young prince rushed out of the village and reached the river. Here the enemy almost came up with them and called out that they need have no fear, for no injury would be done to them. A young brother who had accompanied him, and who was exhausted with swimming, turned back, and his head was immediately severed from his body ; but 'Abd er Rahman held on until he reached the other side, bearing his child and followed by his servant Bedr. Once more on firm earth they journeyed night and day until they reached Africa, where the rest of his family joined them and the sole survivor of the Ummayad princes had leisure to think of his future. . . . His first thoughts turned to Africa, for he clearly perceived that the success of the 'Abbassides had left him no chance in the East ! But after five years of wandering about the Barbary coast, he realised that the . . . Berbers in the West would not 42 \ mm H TOMB OF ZEIN ED DIN YUSSEF. INTERIOR OF DOME. VMM AY AD SHEYKH ZEIN ED DlN YffSSEF willingly surrender their newly-won independence for the empty glory of being ruled by an Ummayad. His glance was therefore directed towards Andalusia ... he sailed for Spain in September, 755. The coming of the survivor of the Ummayads was like a page of romance, like the arrival of the Young Pretender in Scotland in 1745. The news spread like a conflagration through the land ; the old adherents of the royal family hurried to pay him homage ; the descendants of the Ummayah freedmen put themselves under his orders. . . . Before the year was out he was master of all the Mohammedan part of Spain and the dynasty of the Ummayads of Cordova, destined to endure for nearly three centuries, was established." 1 Very different from that of his illustrious kinsman was the life of Sheykh Zein ed Dm ; the inscriptions in his mausoleum, which reveal his royal genealogy, end by an invocation supposed by Professor van Berchem to be a quotation from the holy man's dying words : " My sins are too numerous to be counted, but Thy forgiveness, O my Lord, is immense. What are my sins 1 Stanley Lane-Poole, The Moors in Spain. " Story of the Nations " Series : London, Fisher Unwin. 43 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES and why should I fear them since Thou art my God? . . ." M. Patricolo, the head architect of the Comite de Conservation des Monuments Arabes, who has kindly allowed me to see notes, not yet published, on this interesting mausoleum, quotes the following legend from Es Suyuty's 'Kawkab es Sayyara : " One day that Zein ed Din was travelling in a far country, he found himself much incommoded by thirst and, on looking round, perceived a water bottle hanging in a window and fanned by the breeze. He therefore sat himself down to watch until some one should come out of the house whom he could ask for water, and, being tired out, he slept and had a dream. He saw a beautiful houri coming towards him. Seized with admira- tion for her perfect form, he asked who was her possessor and she answered : ' I belong to him who has enough self-control to abstain from taking water from the water-bottle. 5 He assured her that the desire to do so had gone from him, and the houri thereupon struck the bottle with her sleeve and broke it. The good Sheykh, awakened by the shock, thanked God who had vouchsafed to quench his thirst by the sight of 44 A TOMB OF ZEIN ED Dix YUSSEF. SOUTH LIWAN VMM AY AD SHEYKH ZEIN ED DlN YttSSEF a lovely houri instead of a cupful of cold water. After that dream Zein ed Dm was given the name of ' the Houri's Friend.' " The author speaks with much respect of the fervent piety of the Sheykh, who seems to have travelled a great deal, and to have been, in fact, a sort of missionary. His grandfather, the Sheykh Uday a Sufy like himself appears also to have had a great renown for sanctity, and his name, slightly disfigured, has been given by popular tradition to the tomb, long known as " Sidi Ulay." The mausoleum is to be found on the right hand or west side of the tramline lead- ing from the Midan er Rumeyla to the Mosque of the Imam Shafey ; it stands on a much lower level than the road, and an iron paling has been put up to protect it. A remarkable feature, which always excites curiosity, is that a monumental porch, on a line with the entrance of the mausoleum, stands alone, like a triumphal arch, disconnected from any building. M. Patricolo explains that this porch is all that remains of a zawiya, or chapel, which was built against the mausoleum forty years later on the poorest foundations ; he adds that the survival of the porch was nothing less than miraculous. 45 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES Zein ed Din's own madrassa consists of a sahn with four liwdns ; the domed tomb-chamber adjoins it in the south-west corner. Around the four ttwdns runs one of the most beautiful stucco inscriptions in Cairo ; it has been carefully cleansed from the accumulated dust of centuries by a miraculously skilful old Egyptian artisan whose work in other monuments I have often had occasion to admire. The same charming lace work is to be seen in the mihrdb, and it is not surprising to hear that photographs of the detail are being used as models by the lace workers of H.H. Sultan Fouad's School of Feminine Industries in Alexandria. On entering the exquisite dome, the unpre- pared visitor is shocked to see traces of destruction by fire, and the feelings of regret and indignation become all the greater on hearing the explanation. Before the year 1907, this monument was not included in the list of those which are in the hands of the Ministry of Waqfs, but was supposed to be kept up by a private endowment, and the man who was in charge of it, an ignorant brute, found the supervision of the Comite extremely irksome. Thinking to rid himself of it once and for all, he deliberately set fire to the building ! . . . TOMB OF ZEIN ED DIN YOssEF. DOME. VMM AY AD SHEYKH ZEIN ED DlN Y&SSEF The chapel formerly contained a specimen of the rare and incomparable Ayubite wood-carving, a tabut or wooden cenotaph in the style of that of the Imam Shafey. A description of it, with a copy of the inscription, had fortunately been recorded by Yussef Effendi Ahmed, the learned epigraphist ot the Comite, but that only increases our sense of loss. A fine wooden frieze, perhaps painted, was also completely burnt, and much damage was done to the coloured glass windows, stucco decorations and marble mosaics. Fortunately the dome itself is intact, and the accompanying photograph gives some idea of its graceful proportions and the superb inscription which encircles its base. The interior of it is much more highly decorated than is usual. 1 A large rose in the centre forms the starting point of rays in relief, separated from each other by deep angular grooves. These ribs may be an imitation in brickwork of earlier or contempor- aneous wooden domes, such as that of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as completed by Modestus 1 A picture of it, wrongly labelled " Dome of the chapel of the Imam Shafey," is to be found in M. Saladin's Architecture (Manuel de FArt Musulman), p. 101. 47 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES and afterwards destroyed by Chosroes that of the Qubbet es Sakhra at Jerusalem (built by Abd el Malek in 691) the original dome of the Imam Shafey's mausoleum, afterwards renewed by Qaitbay, and later, that ot the Mosque of Mohammed en Nasser at the Citadel (735 A.D.) and that of the hanafiya in Sultan Hassan's mosque. The whole surface, the frames of the twenty windows, the three courses of stalactites, etc., all is decorated in the most finished and intricate geometrical designs from which curves are practically absent, intermixed with Coranic inscriptions ; the general effect is at the same time subdued and wonderfully rich. While deploring the barbarous and idiotic damage done, we cannot be too thankful that so much remains of this little work of art, and much credit is due to the Comite's workmen for the admirable way in which the repairs have been carried out. CHAPTER VI THE KHANQA OF SULTAN BEYBARS EL GASHENKIR THE old chroniclers to whom we owe all we know of the history of the Middle Ages in Egypt abound in striking human details which make their descriptions delightfully real. It is true that many of them are only known to a restricted circle of readers on account of the difficulties of the Arabic language, but Maqrizy, perhaps the most graphic of them all, has been in part translated and much pleasure can be derived from reading him under the guise of Quatremere's Histoire des Sultans Mamelouks. His account of the court of Cairo during the second reign of Mohammed en Nasser (1298-1308) contains many horrible stories of murder and torture, but it is only when we turn to equally blood-curdling tales of what was going on in France under Philippe le Bel and in England under Edward I, that we realise the necessity of making allowances for mediaeval darkness, E 49 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES so modern does Saracen civilisation appear to us as pictured by its historians. Among the many lifelike figures taking part in the dramatic events of that time which are presented to us by Maqrizy, and afterwards by Ibn lyas, who takes up the thread of the narrative, the two great emirs, Selar the Viceroy and Beybars el Gashenkir (i.e. Taster, afterwards Ostadar or Master of the Royal Household), hold the first rank. We are even given a description of their personal appearance : Selar, of Tartar origin, dark-skinned, with black piercing eyes, a tuft of beard on his chin, short and somewhat heavily built ; Beybars, a Circassian, fair-skinned and blue-eyed, tall and graceful, " a worthy Sultan " says the Arab writer, after enumerating many cruelties and acts of treachery. They were both promoted to high places on the very day when the young Mohammed returned from exile. He was only fourteen at the time (A.D. 1298), and it is perhaps not surprising that he should have been kept from exercising any real authority. Beybars and Selar directed everything, not only at first, when the young Sultan was little more than a child, but later, after he had victoriously SO THE KHANQA OF BEY BARS EL GASHENKIR commanded troops in Syrian wars. They kept him in such subjection and had so little considera- tion for his personal comfort that he could not even procure delicacies for his own table, a fact which seems to have rankled bitterly in his mind. Both men appear to have been cruel and unscrupulous, and we find on many pages stories of tortured slaves and wholesale executions. Beybars showed " very laudable zeal and firm resolution " in carrying out edicts against Jews and Christians (1301), according to which they were to wear coloured turbans and, in the baths, a bell hanging round their necks ; to abstain from riding horses, carrying arms, walking in the centre of the road, possessing Moslem slaves, marrying Moslem women, etc. etc. These edicts were enforced throughout Egypt and Syria, save in the towns of Karak and Shubak, where the great majority of the population were Christians. Beybars also abolished a Christian feast, called the Martyr's feast, which used to take place at Shubak every year, and, though his decision caused much sorrow among the Chris- tians, it is impossible not to applaud it, if we are to believe Maqrizy's description of the orgies to which it gave occasion. It is evident that SOME CAIRO MOSQUES disreputable scenes were but too frequent at that time, for, speaking of the rejoicings which took place in Cairo to celebrate the Sultan's return after a victorious campaign against the Mongols, Maqrizy avers that : " scenes of profligacy and drunkenness were carried to a point past de- scription." These unholy revels were interrupted very dramatically by one of the most terrible earth- quakes on record (1302). To quote Lane-Poole's (abridged) rendering : " The oscillation, the cracking of walls, the fall of houses and mosques, caused a frantic panic. Women rushed about unveiled and gave birth to premature infants. Men saw their houses crumbling to the ground and everything they possessed lost ; or, flying in amazement, left their homes to be rifled by thieves. The Nile threw its boats a bow-shot on the land. The population encamped outside the city, trembling for the fall of the heavens and the end of the world. The earthquake was felt all through Egypt, and injured Alexandria as well as Qus ; Damascus and Akka experienced the shock. Cairo, after the earthquake, looked like a city that had been wrecked by a conquering army." 52 ("""I'J- *v^ KHANQA OF BEYBARS EL GASHENKIR. MINARET. THE KHANQA OF BEY BARS EL GASHENKIR The great mosques suffered severe damage, and the principal Emirs vied with each other in restoring them at their own expense. Beybars undertook the restoration of the Fatimite mosque of El Hakim ; we are told that he visited it immediately after the earthquake and showed much concern at the destruction which had taken place. His restorations have been recorded else- where ; l it is interesting to note the similarity of the new summits which he placed on El Hakim's minarets and that of his own khanqa or convent, in the Gamaliya Street. A few minarets of this design still remain in Cairo and they all date from the same period, one of the most interesting being that of the tomb mosque of the Emirs Selar and Sangar el Gawly, de- scribed in the next chapter. Beybar's khanqa was the second monastery built in Cairo and is now the oldest, the first founded by Saladin having disappeared. This one was saved from utter ruin by the care of the Comite de Conserva- tion des Monuments de VArt Arabe, about twenty- five years ago. It was intended for Sufy monks, and their cells took up a good deal of the space. 1 See Rambles in Cairo, p. 19. 53 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES Beybars endowed the foundation with an unalien- able waqf in favour of the Sufy community, of whom no fewer than four hundred religious were to be accommodated. His own tomb was under an adjoining cupola ; it is, in my opinion, the most impressively beautiful of the domed mausoleums in Cairo. Perhaps the way in which the light falls from above on the solitary marble cenotaph and makes it stand out amid the darkness of the funeral chamber is really the explanation of this almost supernatural beauty ; I sincerely hope that no side windows will be cleared in order to bring in more light. But, apart from any theatrical lighting effects, the chapel presents some very fine features ; the marble facings and mosaics are unusually bold in design and the dome rests on a very perfect system of stalactites framing pierced plaster windows of a remarkably delicate tracery. The porch of the monument is unlike almost any other in Cairo, though similar torus mould- ings framing a rounded arch are to be found in many Crusaders' buildings in Syria. The in- scription offers a special historical interest which is explained by the end of the Gashenkir's story. 54 THE KHANQA OF BEY BARS EL GASHENKIR In the year 1307, the young Sultan, sick to death of the fetters in which he was kept, announced his intention of accompanying the holy pilgrimage with his family. He imparted this design to Beybars and Selar, who approved the idea, as also did Beybars' numerous partisans, for reasons of their own. All the Emirs hastened to offer magnificent presents for the journey, and letters were sent to the various halting places on the way, ordering all preparations to be made. As the Prince, escorted by his suite, left Cairo, he was accompanied by weeping crowds who followed him as far as Birket el Hag. Beybars and Selar did likewise, but their pride and arrogance had reached such a point that they bade farewell to the Sultan without dismounting from their horses, after which they turned back towards Cairo. The Sultan with his suite arrived as far as Karak, where the Governor, the Emir Akush, gave him the best reception he could. En Nasser settled down comfortably in this very strongly fortified town and then announced to the Emirs who had accompanied him that he intended to remain quietly there and give up his throne, " which," he added, " Beybars el Gashenkir has 55 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES already usurped. " He then exchanged somewhat bitter letters with Beybars and Selar, who, though violently jealous of each other, were united in wishing him to confirm his abdication. Selar, recognising that Beybars' adherents were more numerous than his own, proposed his rival as Sultan, and, after some show of reluctance, the latter accepted, Selar himself remaining Viceroy as before. . . . But the Gashenkir was not destined to remain long on the throne ; he was hated by the people, who clung to the son of Qalaun, hoping he might return to them. Some popular poet having composed a comic and slightly disrespectful topical song with a play on the new Sultan's name, he flew into a violent rage and had about three hundred persons arrested for singing this song, and their tongues cut out. He also arrested and imprisoned several Emirs on the charge of writing conspiring letters to the late Sultan at Karak. Meanwhile, Mohammed began to regret having left his people to such a man and to intrigue to recover his throne. Soon a general revolt arose in Syria, and Beybars found he must defend his position. Aided by Selar, who remained faithful to him, he attempted to organise resistance, 56 THE KHANQA OF BEY BARS EL GASHENKIR but defections met him at every step, and the Emirs advised him to write to En Nasser and to solicit from him a post in some distant province. Beybars, " boiling with rage," followed this counsel and abdicated, sending two Emirs with a letter to Mohammed en Nasser. He took with him most of the royal treasure and three squadrons of cavalry, and prepared to leave the town. So much was he hated of the people that they assembled at the city gate when they heard of his impending departure and tried to stone him ; he only saved his life by flinging money among them. He fled towards Assuan. As he reached the neighbourhood of Akhmim he was rejoined by two Emirs, sent by the Sultan, who succeeded by wiles in detaching from him the mamelukes who had accompanied him, and also in taking from him the treasure and the fine horses which he had appropriated. They then ordered him to retire to Karak, promising to send his children to join him, and, although he obeyed all these orders, another envoy from En Nasser arrested him near Suez and brought him back by night to Cairo, where he was imprisoned in the Citadel. Mohammed himself went into his prison when the 57 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES morning came, and, after reproaching him bitterly, had him strangled in his presence. When he was dead, the Sultan sent to inform his wife and ordered that he be buried in the cemetery. This was done, but, a short time later, some of the Emirs obtained from the Sultan permission to bury him in his own khanqa. In his bitter hatred against the usurper, En Nasser ordered his royal title " El Muzaffar " to be hammered out of the inscription which runs along the beautiful and unique porch of the edifice. After a few years (1326), the monastery, which had been closed at the fall of its founder, was re-opened by En Nasser and a great many Sufy monks w r ere harboured therein. KHANQA OF BEYBARS EL GASHENKIR. PORCH. CHAPTER VII THE TOMBS OF SANGAR EL GAWLY AND SELAR IN the midst of the turmoil of foreign wars, private quarrels and wholesale executions which make up the history of Mohammed En Nasser's second reign, the Mosque el Gawliya stands as a record of a long and faithful human friendship. The twin domes of the two Emirs buried there and its unusual position on the side of a hill make its outlines quite different from any other, and it is full of special interest for the architect as well as the historian. The Emir Selar, whose remains occupy the tomb lying under the higher of the two domes, was the man whose history is closely interwoven with that of Beybars el Gashenkir and who has therefore been the subject of various references in the preceding chapter. Historians frequently draw a parallel between the two men and, even apart from the pleasant picture offered by his friendship with Sangar el 59 SOME CAIRO MOSOUES Gawly, Selar's seems to have been, on the whole, a less unsympathetic personality than his rival's. He was of Tartar blood and had amassed, by un- certain and somewhat doubtful means, an enor- mous private fortune, which enabled him to satisfy his tastes for barbaric splendour and which makes the manner of his death all the more pathetic. Such was his taste for dress that he originated fashions in clothes, and Ibn lyas, writing in the sixteenth century, averred that a certain kind of vest was still called silariya after him. He also seems to have had a vast hareem, for the same chronicler states that he was rich in children beyond counting ; one of his daughters, being given in marriage to a nephew of the Sultan, a grandson of Qalaun, received a dowry of one hundred and sixty thousand gold dinars. Though so wealthy, he was no miser, but gave much away in charities and was very much pre- ferred to Beybars by the people ; En Nasser himself hated them both equally, neither of them having apparently troubled to try to obtain his goodwill. Selar, however, was jealous enough of outside influence over the young Sultan for, having ascertained that the Wazir Esh Sheykhy 60 TOMBS OF SELAR AND SANGAR EL GAWLY. NORTH FACADE. THE TOMBS OF SANGAR EL GAWLY AND SELAR an upstart whose promotion had taken place against Selar's wishes had been advising En Nasser to shake off his tutelage, he had him cruelly put to death. He and his devoted friend, Sangar el Gawly, procured a clever Copt who trumped up a charge of embezzlement against the unhappy wazir. Beybars, approached by some of his own relations, who were friends of Esh Sheykhy, interceded in his favour, but seeing that Selar was bent on his destruction, went away on the pilgrimage for the second time. Immediately after his departure, Selar had the wretched wazir flogged until he died under the whip. Other actions recorded by Maqrizy show Selar in a more favourable light. On the occasion of his pilgrimage to Mecca, it is said that he performed many honourable acts in the province of the Hedjaz. For instance, he had a list drawn up of the pilgrims who were in retirement at Mecca and paid off all the debts they had incurred ; he distributed among the poor the whole cargo of several ships which he had equipped and sent to Jeddah, and he treated the poor of Medina with equal munificence. At the same time, some nomad Arabs having robbed pilgrims of their 61 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES camels, he pursued the robbers, made fifty of them prisoners and had their hands and feet cut off. Among other pious works, Selar's share of the rebuilding of mosques after the great earthquake was an important one ; he restored both the ancient mosque of 'Amr ibn el Aas at Fostat and the holy university of El Azhar. According to Maqrizy, it was in the year 1307 that dissensions began to occur between Beybars and Selar, and it was the latter 's affection for Sangar el Gawly which was the initial cause, for, Sangar having had a violent dispute with a protege of Beybars, each of the two great Emirs sided with his own partisan and personal animosity soon arose between them. Selar seems to have done his best to smooth matters over ; he per- suaded El Gawly to wait upon Beybars and to endeavour to appease him with soft words, but when this failed, and Beybars only received Sangar with insults and vituperation, Selar was deeply offended. He and Beybars had been in the habit of riding out together every day, but this was now discontinued and each went out separately, accompanied by his adherents. " Every one," says Maqrizy, " was expecting trouble." 62 if THE TOMBS OF SANGAR EL GAWLY AND SELAR However, Selar made one more effort to con- ciliate Beybars, reminding him that he and Sangar el Gawly were such close friends that each had chosen the other to care for his children should he predecease him. Beybars would hear nothing and declared that if Sangar could not repay the moneys that he was falsely accused of appropriating, he would have him die the same death as Esh Sheykhy. Sangar proceeded to sell his possessions horses, clothes, furniture, etc., near the Qulla gate, and many Emirs, professing to be grieved at his misfortune and really desirous of obtaining the powerful Selar's favour, bought these at prices far above their real value, intending to return them to the owner when the latter would be reinstated in Beybars' good graces. Things remained tense for some time ; Beybars and Selar did not speak to each other and most of the Mameluke Emirs wore hidden weapons under their clothing in case of a sudden outbreak of hostilities. At last Beybars relented, up to a certain point. El Gawly was released, but exiled to Syria, where he was given a military post. A great recon- ciliation took place after his departure between Beybars and Selar, and they were brought 63 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES nearer to each other by the discovery of a plot prepared by the Sultan to get rid of them both. It was Selar, however, who brought it to nought by exercising wonderful diplomacy and adroit- ness, to that extent that peace was apparently restored between the Sultan and the two Emirs, another man being sacrificed and disowned by both parties. When Mohammed took refuge in Karak by a trick and sent letters of abdication to Cairo. Selar, seeing that Beybars' Mameluke partisans were in greater number than his own, made a virtue of necessity and urged the election of his rival to the Sultanate. And it must be added that, when the tide turned, and it seemed that the son of Qalaun would be restored to the throne, Selar remained faithful to Beybars, until the latter fled towards Assuan, as related in the last chapter. Then Selar's prudence overruled his loyalty to one who had ever been a rival rather than a friend, and he took measures intended to secure Mohammed's good- will. He sealed up the Treasure House, liberated the Emirs whom Beybars had imprisoned in the Citadel, and wrote a letter of submission to En Nasser, whose name he ordered to be mentioned in the Friday TOMBS OF SELAR AND SANGAR EL GAWLY. CARVED STONE SCREEN. THE TOMBS OF SANGAR EL GAWLY AND SELAR services, as was the custom for the reigning Sultan. As Mohammed en Nasser approached Cairo, he was met by Selar, accompanied by a large party of Emirs ; all kissed the earth before him. When the son of Qalaun's third accession to the throne was celebrated, Selar took the oppor- tunity to ask to be relieved of the Viceroyalty which he had held for eleven years and to be allowed to retire to Shubak. Mohammed, with the duplicity which characterised him and which he had perhaps acquired through years of re- pression and restraint, accorded this with a gracious show of reluctance and presented his late Viceroy with travelling robes, whereupon Selar departed. Shortly afterwards, however, some intrigues were discovered in which a brother of Selar was concerned, and the Sultan sent a letter to Selar, inviting him to come to Cairo and prove his innocence. As uie prudent Emir preferred to remain where he was, Mohammed then sent his friend, Sangar el Gawly, whom he appears to have persuaded that it would be to Selar's advantage to return. His coming reassured the latter, who consented to accompany him, but, F 65 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES when the two with their suite came to the gates of Cairo, Selar was arrested and thrown into the Citadel prison. In his disappointment and indignation, he refused with angry words some food that the Sultan had sent him, and the latter therefore ordered that nothing else should be given him. After some days had elapsed, the wretched man tried to eat his boots in his prison and, this being reported to the Sultan, Mohammed relented and sent him some food with a message of forgiveness. But it was too late ; the prisoner rose to his feet on hearing the good news, only to fall down, dead. I do not know what Sangar's feelings may have been when he found that he had been made an instrument in betraying Selar : at any rate, he had him suitably buried in his own madrassa, where the two friends had prepared their tombs next to each other. If, as seems likely, Sangar supervised the completion of the edifice, it is rather touching to notice that his friend's mau- soleum is far more elaborately adorned than his own and, in fact, forms the most important portion of the whole building. The Gawliya, as it was called by Arab writers, is one of the most interesting mosques in Cairo and quite unique 66 THE TOMBS OF SANGAR EL GAWLY AND SELAR in style ; it is built against the rock on which Ibn Tulun's army quarters once stood, and the archi- tect has very cleverly taken advantage of the unusual site. The north faade, with its twin domes and characteristic minaret, is extremely striking. Modern steps lead to the entrance vestibule, a vaulted chamber partly cut out of the rock and suggestive rather of a mediaeval fortress than a mosque. To reach the prayer-hall and the tombs another staircase has to be ascended, a most picturesque flight of stone steps under a massive vault, only lighted above by an opening in the roof. At the top of the stairs, a square landing has three doors, that at the bottom of the minaret, one opening into the sanctuary, and the third leading into the corridor, again solidly vaulted, at the end of which is a small dome above an obscure Sheykh's tomb. On the left, or south side, this corridor is lighted by large bays, screened with the most wonderful carved stone-work in Cairo ; delicate open-work arabesques about an inch thick, in a different design for each bay. These alone would justify a visit to this little- known monument. On the right of the passage, one door opens SOME CAIRO MOSQUES into the tomb-chamber of Selar, and another into that of Sangar ; there are also doors of communication between the two. They are very like each other in the general plan and harmony of their proportions, but the decoration of that of Selar is much more elaborate. Large windows look over the street below, but it is better to keep them closed so as to enjoy the sub- dued and melancholy light thrown by the charm- ing glass windows of the dome ; these qamariydt retain the original glass, with an attractive design of a chalice in moonlight blue, and tone very harmoniously with the general soft and rather cold effect. There is nothing interesting in the Sanctuary, which has had to be partly rebuilt, save its very uncommon plan. The covered sahn shows remains of a fine inscription and some odd little square windows in carved stone- work, similar, on a much smaller scale, to that of the bays in the corridor. In the yard, full of rubbish and debris, which can be entered through a side door from the corridor, a magnificent stucco inscription runs along a wall ; it is Quranic, as are also the beautiful inscriptions on the drums of the two 68 THE TOMBS OF SANGAR EL GAWLY AND SELAR domes, sadly damaged, unfortunately, and the inscriptions on the minaret. The latter, with its square base and octagonal upper story, is not unlike that of Qalaun ; it is crowned by a kind of ribbed bonnet like others of the same period, approximately, for instance, that of Beybars el Gashenkir, the restorations to those of El Hakim, etc. etc. Sangar lived for many years after burying his unhappy friend and was for a long time Governor of Palestine. He built a number of monuments at Ghazza and Hebron, of which a few remains still exist. CHAPTER VIII THE EPOCH OF SULTAN QAlTBAY THE name of El-Malek el-Ashraf Abul Nasr Qaitbay has become identified with that of a whole epoch to which Cairo owes a great number of graceful monu- ments. Built either by the Sultan himself or by the rich Emirs of his court who wished to imitate him whilst glorifying themselves, these monu- ments, of which the mausoleum in the eastern cemetery is the prototype, 1 are fairly homo- geneous in style, and that style has accordingly become known by the name of Qaitbay : their number and charm certainly bear witness to the Mameluke Sultan's refined taste and energetic enterprise. 1 See, for a detailed description of this masterpiece, " Die Grab-Moschee des Sultans Raid Bey " by Franz Pasha, in Die Baukunst. It is also described in most books dealing with Cairo architecture, such as Lane-Poole's Cairo (Mediaeval Towns) ; Gayet's Art Arabe ; Margoliouth's Cairo, Jerusalem, and Damascus ; Saladin's Architecture Musulmane, etc. etc. 70 THE EPOCH OF SULTAN QAlTBAY Gayet, whose imaginative Art Arabe contains such attractive descriptions, tainted, alas, by so many inaccuracies, fancies that an approaching decadence is perceptible in the architecture of the fifteenth century. He sees in it " the frail languor and subtle delicacy of that which has received its death-blow." After a very detailed account of the chief points to be observed in the exterior and interior aspects of a fifteenth century mosque built by a Circassian or Bordjite mameluke as compared to one dating from the so-called Baharite dynasty (thirteenth to fourteenth centuries), Gayet thus speaks of the minaret and the dome. " The minaret and the dome were particularly adapted to personify the spirit of the times and, on them, the builder's talent became chiefly concentrated. Already under Qalaun and Bey- bars, the minaret began to soar in order to follow the aspirations of the soul : the Bordjites raised it still higher to enable it to support psychic hallucinations. . . . But, accustomed as they were to handle polygons, they had again to resort to polygony in order to conquer difficulties. The minarets SOME CAIRO MOSOUES of Qalaun and Sultan Hassan had had square towers of which each story was narrower than the last, and each story was surrounded by a corbelled balcony. The Bordjite builders in- scribed within the square of the first tower a second octagonal tower, and again, within that, a round shaft, crowning the whole by a baldaquin- shaped lantern. And, in order to emphasise the upward fling, they suppressed the terrace which separated the first from the second tower. . . . Thus the minaret becomes more slender as it soars ... it is adorned with chevrons and garlands . . . the dome of the lantern is now a bronze cupola decorated with arabesques against which metal poles carry lamps which are lighted on festal evenings. . . . The dome of the tomb becomes covered with interlacing arabesques ... it would seem draped in lace richly wrought. ... In short, the Bordjite period has merely refined the conceptions left to it by the preceding period : it has created nothing new. ... It has had but one object : extreme grace, and in that we may say that it has been perfectly successful. " Very little attention is usually accorded to the 72 THE EPOCH OF SULTAN QAlTBAY life and reign of the great inspirer of these architectural masterpieces, and yet the story of his reign is very interesting, particularly from the point of view of foreign history. Those epochs in which the history of the Sultans of Egypt happens to touch that of Europe help us to conceive its chronology and to escape from a tendency to look upon it as a series of Oriental fairy tales, disconnected from our own civilisation. And, in effect, Qaitbay was a contemporary of one of the most critical convulsions in European history, Sultan Gaqmaq, who gave him his freedom, having died in 1453, the year in which Constantinople was taken by Sultan Mohammed II. This event is unanimously considered as marking the end of the Middle Ages, and it certainly presaged for Egypt the approaching end of the artistic period which flourished under the rule of her warlike Mameluke sovereigns. Moreover, the chronicles of the fifteenth century, the Italian quattro cento, abound in dramatic episodes and picturesque characters, and it came about that the destiny of two of these romantic figures, Prince Djem and Queen Catherine Cornaro, crossed that of Sultan Qaitbay. The 73 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES fate of the first mentioned was a tragic one and Lane-Poole 1 who recounts his sad tale, justly remarks that it throws a lurid light on the honour and chivalry of the Christian knights, princes and popes of the time. But, before bringing the unhappy prince before my readers, it is necessary to go back to the history of the Cir- cassian mameluke, Qaitbay. He was already fifty-five and grey-headed when he was placed, protesting, on the throne of Egypt, but the Arab historians retrace his previous career. He seems to have been brought to Egypt in his youth by a slave trader named Mahmud, who sold him and several others for fifty gold dinars each, to Sultan El-Malek El- Ashraf Barsbay. Barsbay's successor, Seyf ed-Din Gaqmaq, freed him, presented him with horses and robes of honour, and promoted him to the rank of Gamddr (master of the wardrobe), afterwards of Khasky (page), then of First Dawadar escritoire (bearer). The several short-reigned Sultans who succeeded Gaqmaq, viz. El Malek el Mansour Fakhr ed Din Othman, El Malek el Ashraf Abul Nasr Inal, El Malek el Muayyad Shehab ed Din Ahmed, El Malek ez Zaher Seif ed Din 1 Turkey, " Story of the Nations " Series, p. 1404. 74 ENDOWMENT HOUSE OF SULTAN QAITBAY. THE EPOCH OF SULTAN QAITBAY Khoshqadam, El Malek ez Zaher Abu Said Timurbugha, continued to load him with favours, and, the last mentioned having been deposed after a revolution to which Qaitbay was not altogether a stranger, the latter was chosen by the Emirs to take his place. It must be added that he treated the deposed Sultan, a scholarly man of his own age who had been his friend, and had made him Atabek or Generalissimo, with much honour and con- sideration, and enabled him to live comfortably and in perfect freedom at Damietta. Timur- bugha had only accepted the Sultanate with much repugnance, and there is no reason to believe that he regretted his deposition. After Qaitbay had reigned in peace for six years, during which he indulged in his passion for building, his beautiful mausoleum in the eastern cemetery dating from that time, he was forced to turn his attention to the wars which afterwards rilled so many years of his reign. Mohammed II had fought and defeated Uzun Hassan, the Turcoman ruler of Persia, who was the ally and so-called vassal of Egypt, and it was obvious that Ibn Othman, as the Arab chroniclers call the successive Turkish 75 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES Sultans, would look upon Egypt next with covetous eyes. Qaitbay therefore busied himself with the protection of his Syrian frontiers, garrisoning them with his best troops and con- solidating the fortifications ; his characteristic cartouche (see PL) is to be found on the ancient walls of remote Syrian cities, at Birejik, for instance, where it is seen decorating the walls of the citadel. The south-east gateway bears an inscription recording the Sultan's works of restoration, and the repairs he caused to be made to the walls are quite visible. Much of this work of consolidation is also to be seen at Aleppo. 1 Fearing perhaps for his own person in spite of all these precautions, Qaitbay attempted to abdicate, invoking his age and desire for rest, but the Emirs refused to allow him to do so and insisted on his remaining their liege lord. He consented against his will, at the very moment when Mohammed II was preparing to invade Syria, an intention frustrated by his own death in A.H. 885. It is then that Prince Djem first appears upon the scene. Known as Zizim by European historians, his name was really Djem- 1 See van Berchem, Inschrifte aus Syrien, in Beitrdge zur Assyriologie, VII, i. 7 6 THE EPOCH OF SULTAN QAlTBAY shid, and he was a son of Mohammed II, from whom, according to Lane-Poole, he had inherited a vigorous and ambitious disposition and also marked intellectual gifts. His brother Bayazid (Bajazet) having been first to hear of their father's death, hastened to Constantinople and, bribing the janissaries, seized the throne for himself. War ensued between the two brothers, and Qaitbay, reassured, left the frontiers of Syria and returned to Cairo. It would seem that he had had previous relations with Prince Djem, for the latter, having been defeated by his brother in the battle of Yeni Sheher, fled to Egypt with his wife and children and begged for refuge. Sultan Qaitbay not only received him but furn- ished him with the means of a fresh attack upon his brother, this time in Qaramania. Beaten once more and reduced to flight, Prince Djem placed himself under the protection of the Knights of Rhodes, of whom the Grand Master was at that time Cardinal Pierre d'Aubusson. From this moment, the unhappy Turkish Prince became the object and the victim of infamous intrigues and shameful calculations. Lane-Poole has made the history of Djem's thirteen years' captivity the subject of one of the 77 SOME CAIRO MOSOUES most interesting chapters of his Turkey, 1 and points out the disgraceful part played in the affair by the sovereigns and princes of his time. Even his former protector, Qaitbay, ultimately abandoned him to his fate in his efforts to induce Bayazid to forget the part which he had taken in the conflict between the two brothers. As soon as he had Djem in his power, d'Aubus- son made him sign a secret treaty promising great privileges for the Knights of St. John should he reach the Ottoman throne ; at the same time, he opened negotiations with Bayazid. The Sultan desired to become reconciled with his brother, but the latter refused all offers, and Bayazid then agreed to pay forty-five thousand ducats annually to the Order as long as they could detain Djem. The ill-fated prisoner, who, not having yet understood that the possession of his person had become a valuable asset, still believed himself to be the guest of his gaolers, was taken to France. During his sojourn in one of the commanderies where he was detained by the Knights of St. John, he loved a beautiful girl who returned his affections. The thought of the mother of his children, whom 1 " Story of the Nations " Series. 7 8 THE EPOCH OF SULTAN QAlTBAY he had left in Egypt, was probably no burden on the Moslem's conscience. The Princess, on the other hand, was making strenuous efforts to ransom her husband, and the disloyal Grand- Master was infamous enough to accept twenty thousand ducats from her without releasing the captive. For thirteen long years he remained imprisoned in Europe ; during that time the hope was held out to him that he might obtain his father's throne through the assistance of Mathias Corvinus, the Hungarian King who had proved himself the bulwark of Europe against the Ottomans. Fer- dinand of Naples, Charles VIII of France, and Pope Innocent VIII were each to have a part in this. The Pontiff, however, having succeeded in obtaining the custody of the Ottoman Prince, demanded from Bayazid the annual sum of forty thousand ducats to make this secure. His successor, the notorious Alexander Borgia, evidently thought this arrangement unsatisfactory and offered the Sultan to rid him altogether from an inconvenient Pretender for the total sum of three hundred thousand ducats. At that moment, Charles VIII, having invaded Italy, dictated to Alexander VI the terms of a 79 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES treaty which included, among other things, the surrender of the princely hostage into the French King's hands. The treacherous Borgia executed this clause but earned at the same time the premium promised by the Sultan. Djem was handed over to the French in a dying condition, having previously been poisoned, by means, it is said, of a barber's razor. Turkish literature is the richer by several poems composed by our melancholy hero. Lane- Poole quotes one or two from E. J. N. Gibb's Ottoman Poems. Truly his chequered life, its medley of ambition, love, captivity and death, provided him with sufficient subjects on which to exercise the poetic talent with which Nature had gifted him. During the years which followed the final defeat of Prince Djem, war raged continually between Bayazid and Qaitbay, the advantage resting sometimes with one, sometimes with the other. In the written accounts of these battles we frequently come across the names of Mameluke Emirs who not only distinguished themselves as soldiers or diplomats, but also, following their sovereign's example, enriched the city of Cairo with exquisite monuments. 80 MOSQUE OF EZBEK EL YUSSEFY. SEBIL FACADE. THE EPOCH OF SULTAN QAlTBAY The most important of them all, the Emir Ezbek, General-in-Chief of Qaitbay, was several times victorious over the Turks and accorded triumphal honours when he returned bringing distinguished prisoners. On one of those occasions he built a splendid mosque, giving to a whole quarter of Cairo a name which it still bears, though the mosque itself has disappeared. That neighbourhood was entirely transformed by the Emir Ezbek, who dug in it a lake, easily filled by the waters of the Nile and quickly surrounded by sumptuous dwellings ; his mosque, the Ezbekiya, stood, approximately, where the Opera House now is ; it was demolished in 1869 by Ismail Pasha. According to contemporaries, it must have been very fine. No traces of it are left, save some bronze bands with inscriptions, probably from the doors, and preserved in the Arab Museum. It is also very probable that the lovely house, built by M. de St. Maurice, which is now used for the French Agency, was enriched by some of the materials of Ezbek J s mosque. It seems that this Emir's tastes for building coincided with those of the Sultan, for his name is mentioned as Director of Works, notably in the description of the construction of the arches G 81 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES of the Giza Embankment. He must not be con- fused with his namesake, the Emir Ezbek el Yussefy, who, in 1495, built in the Sharia Es Saliba, a graceful mosque of which the plan is cleverly adapted to a very irregular piece of ground. The minaret contains a double staircase. The interior is quite characteristic of what is known as the Qaitbay style ; unfortunately the carved surfaces have been disfigured by red paint, probably in Turkish times. The mosque known under the name of Abu Horiba 1 was also built by one of Qaitbay's generals, the Emir Qichmas el Ishaky. Of General Yashbak el Mahdy, one of the most important in this reign, we have the dome called el Fadawiya, near el Abbassiya, in the old Husseiniya quarter. It is an isolated mausoleum, consisting of a cube from which the dome rises without any transition ; the result of this is that the exterior lacks grace, in spite of the harmonious outline of the cupola itself. Inside, the incom- parable decoration which lines the interior of the dome and the pendentives sufficiently accounts, even in the absence of the marble mosaic panelling which has now disappeared 1 See Rambles in Cairo, p. 75. 82 DOME EL FADAWIYA. DETAIL OF ORNAMENT. THE EPOCH OF SULTAN QAlTBAY from the walls and from the mihrdb for the great reputation of beauty which made a visit to this monument a favourable excursion for the last mameluke Sultans and the Turkish Pashas who followed. The Emir Yashbak died before it was completed and his Sovereign in person saw to the completion of the edifice (1481). Yashbak was the possessor of the now ruined palace which stands near the mosque of Sultan Hassan, and traces can still be seen of a large heraldic cartouche containing the dawaddr's writing-box, considered as a hieroglyphic sign until Abdel Hamid Bey Mustapha's convincing demonstration. 1 A cousin of General Yashbak, the Emir Ganem el Bahlawan, built in the Serugiya a handsome mosque (1478), which was restored and described by Herz Pasha ; the Comite de Conservation des Monuments Arabes has published this description, with good photographic illustrations. The Emir Mamay, whom Qaitbay sent as an ambassador to Sultan Bayazid, and who, though an envoy, was imprisoned by the latter, was the owner of the fine palace known as the Beit el Qady, not far from the Khan Khalily. Only the maq'ad of that palace remains, a loggia facing 1 See Burlington Magazine, December 1919. 83 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES north, framed in slender arcades. This archi- tectural feature is to be found in Qaitbay's own houses and was afterwards repeated in the palaces and private houses of the Turkish period, probably because of its suitability to the climate of Egypt and the north breeze, almost constant in the summer, which brings a delicious coolness in the evening. Next to the Sultan's mausoleum, the most beautiful monument of the Qaitbay period is, to my mind, the small madrassa of the learned Abu Bekr ibn Muzhir el Ansary, chief of the Chancellery. Evidently a rich man, this Emir also built a madrassa at Jerusalem. It is, unfortu- nately, in a very dilapidated condition, owing to neglect and to the damp climate of Palestine, but a great deal still remains. The interior offers several commodious rooms and some cells for students, and, but for some details of the facade, it presents very little similarity with Abu Bekr's Cairo building. It is even doubtful whether he ever saw it, for he is said to have been seized by his last illness, A.H. 893, when on his way to Jerusalem to visit his madrassa, which had been completed in 885 (A.D. 1497). The Cairo madrassa was finished a year earlier. The THE EPOCH OF SULTAN OAlTBAY exterior is plain, save for the two fine doors and minaret, but the extreme skill of the architect becomes apparent when the difficulty of the site is observed. It is an angle of an ancient street bearing the name of El Hakim's Wazir, Birgwan, and the orientation was not favourable. However, these very difficulties have been turned to good account ; for instance, a most effective view of the interior is obtained from the vestibule owing to the diagonal position of a window opening into it. The street is very narrow at present, but many houses are being cleared away and a better general view will soon be afforded. The interior resembles no other, save that of the mosque of Aslam el Bahay (745-1344), in this respect, that the arches of two of the liwdns are supported by columns. In this case, however, they are the two principal liwdns, whilst, in the fourteenth century mosque, the sanctuary is framed by a broad single arch and the triple arch on two columns is re- served for the two side liwdns. The interior decoration is delicate and costly, and has been repaired with great taste by Herz Pasha (1883-97), the original designs being preserved even in the case of the pierced plaster windows of which the glass had practically dis- 85 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES appeared. As nothing remained of the lantern (or perhaps dome), which covered the sahn, Herz replaced it by a flat covering which does not interfere with the general exterior outline of the monument ; the closed interior gains in religious feeling from having no open court. The marble pavement, also very badly damaged, was repaired on its own lines. The woodwork, among the very best in Cairo, suffered comparatively less, much of it being intact. The splendid bronze door had been despoiled of its inscriptions by thieves, who had also taken away a large portion of the metal polygonal surface decoration, but enough remained to reconstruct the design, and this has been very skilfully done. The graceful arabesques over the windows on each side of the mihrdb are executed in a peculiar method, a black or red composition being inserted in grooves hollowed out of white marble. This technique appears in Mameluke work for the first time in the fifteenth century, but was used by the ancient Egyptians of the eighteenth dynasty. It is very effectively employed in mosques of the late Circassian and early Turkish period, such as those of El Ghury, Khairbek, Sidi Sariya, etc. etc. 86 MADRASSA OF SULTAN QAITBAY AT QALA'AT EL KABSH. DETAIL OF INTERIOR. THE EPOCH OF SULTAN QAlTBAY Another beautiful madrassa, this one due to the Sultan himself (1475), is as difficult of access as that of Abu Bekr. It is situated on the height known as Qalaat el Kabsh, and the best way to reach it is to pass through the mosque of Sangar el Gawly. The exterior is less harmonious than that of the mausoleum ; not being a tomb, it is deprived of the special charm imparted by a dome, and the minaret is somewhat lacking in height, perhaps on account of the high and exposed ground on which the building is situated. Never- theless that minaret is interesting because of its rare form ; the lower of the two balconies rests on a sort of cornice instead of the usual stalactites and is placed much nearer the base than is the general custom ; at the same time, the roof of the mosque being particularly lofty, the relative proportions of the building and its minaret seem peculiar and abnormal. The two doorways face north and south. The north portal, in trefoil shape, is placed close to the angle on which the minaret stands ; the upper lobe of the trefoil is decorated in a very character- istic manner, with a straight-lined design which I have noticed on many Qaitbay monuments and on no others : it was interesting to find it again SOME CAIRO MOSQUES on some panels of the Sultan's madrassa in Jerusalem. The interior of the Qalaat el Kabsh madrassa has unfortunately been much neglected, in fact the whole building looks as if threatened by imminent collapse, and it is surprising to read, in the Comptes-rendus of the Comite, that large sums have been spent for its consolidation. No attempt has been made to restore its former estate, and it is particularly badly kept by the attendant in charge. However, it is easy to see that it must have been strikingly beautiful ; like the mausoleum, it is built on the " modified " cruciform plan, a narrow pointed arch forming each side liwdn. The two principal arches show a decided return, again like those of the mausoleum, but they do not look so broad in proportion, owing to the greater height of the walls. The archivolts of all four arches consist of alternate plain red and richly carved white stone voussoirs ; the same scheme of decoration is used throughout the interior and is extremely pleasing, especially in the treatment of the mihrdb. Remains still exist of fine ceilings, and the minbar is of marquetry inlaid with ivory and ebony. The dikka forms an inner balcony in THE EPOCH OF SULTAN QAlTBAY the north liwdn, an attractive feature which is also to be found in Abu Bekr's madrassa. A drinking trough for horses and cattle stands near the south entrance of the madrassa ; it is not in a better state of preservation than that near the mausoleum, which it greatly resembles. A third drinking trough, near El Azhar, is in much better condition ; it is perhaps later in date. Like the neighbouring wakdla and sebil, it is adorned with exquisite details. Two other large waqdlas, or khans, were built in Cairo by Qaitbay, and a good deal remains of that which stands in the vicinity of Bab en Nasr. Qaitbay built several of these khans in Syria, and some are mentioned in Lanzone's interesting Viaggio in Palestina e Soria da Kaid Bai. 1 It was "only in 1490 that peace was concluded between the Turks and Egypt, and Qaitbay took advantage of it to secure the continuation of revenue which he sorely needed to face the enormous expenses caused by his passion for 1 A XVth century Arab text, edited and published with an Italian preface and notes, Turin, 1878. A French translation, by the present writer, will shortly be published, by the Institut Franfais cT Archtologie Orientale in Cairo. SOME CAIRO MOSQUES architecture. This useful annual sum, the exact amount of which is uncertain, came from Cyprus ; the island, ceded to the Lusignan family by Richard Coeur de Lion in 1192, had been reduced to vassalage by Sultan Barsbay in 1426, and paid a yearly tribute to Egypt. King John II of Lusignan was succeeded by his son John III, married to Princess Helena Paleologue, who had acquired a powerful influence over her husband though she had borne him but one daughter, Princess Charlotte. By a Greek woman from Patras the king also had a natural son, James, whom his wily stepmother had forced to become a priest and who was now Archbishop of Nicosia. Among the young prelate's friends was an exiled patrician from the powerful Republic of Venice, Andrea Cornaro, a member of a ducal house who had settled in Cyprus, where his family possessed land- property, and was intriguing to obtain his pardon. The clever Venetian persuaded the illegitimate Prince to claim his rights against his step-sister, married to a foreigner, Prince Louis of Savoy, and to leave the Church in order to marry and continue the dynasty. He also spoke to him of his own niece, beautiful Caterina Cornaro, who, 90 THE EPOCH OF SULTAN QAlTBAY should she become his Queen, would no doubt secure an alliance with Venice. He succeeded so well that James fell in love with Caterina at the mere sight of her portrait and announced his claim to the throne of his father. It was obvious that Cornaro had thus found means of coming again into favour with his fellow-citizens, for it was the Venetian Ambassador who protected James in his flight to Rhodes when his step- mother attempted to have him assassinated, and Caterina, his fiancee, was solemnly adopted by Venice and declared Daughter of the Republic. The death of John III (1458), immediately after that of Queen Helena, hurried the course of events ; James went to Egypt and succeeded in obtaining assistance from Sultan Khoshqadam by increasing the annual tribute, and especially by acquiring the aid of the Ottomans against his sister and her husband, Louis of Savoy, who had no allies but the Republic of Genoa and the Knights of Rhodes. He returned to Cyprus with a Venetian squadron and married Caterina Cornaro by proxy in 1469. His reign lasted but three years ; he died in 1472, perhaps poisoned, leaving his wife pregnant and under the official protection of Venice ; 9 1 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES when the child, a boy, was born he was given Venetian sponsors at his baptism. Every action of the widowed Queen was dictated to her by the Republic, through the intermediary of her uncle Andrea. It seems that the Cypriots did not appreciate this foreign yoke, for a conspiracy burst out in 1473, Cornaro was assassinated, and the Queen and baby King imprisoned. They were released and replaced on the throne by Vene- tian forces, but the child died in 1475. James had left some illegitimate children and provided in his will that they should come next in order of succession, but Venice had had them all, with his mother, taken to Padua, where they died. Caterina continued to reign alone ; no doubt she realised that her power was solely upheld by the Republic, impatiently awaiting for her death to seize the coveted prey. In 1488, the Republic having ascertained that she was contemplating a second marriage with a Prince of the House of Naples, her brother Giorgio was sent to her with orders to impose abdication upon the Queen ; she resisted until 1489, then gave way and let herself be taken to Venice, where she was confined, with every luxury and a hypocritical show of respect, in the castle of Asolo, where she died at the age of 92 THE EPOCH OF SULTAN QAITBAY fifty-six. Cypriot chronicles imply that she was beautiful, but we have no trustworthy portrait of Caterina ; M. Andre Maurel, whose Quinze Jours a Venise led me to search into the sad history of this noble lady, proves that the two so-called portraits of her, by Titian and Giorgione, cannot be authentic since both these painters were but twelve years old when she returned to Venice after her unhappy reign. The Republic, though having thus seized upon the Lusignan's kingdom, was unable to shake off the suzerainty of Egypt. In 1490, Sultan Qaitbay concluded peace with the Turk ; being con- sequently unhampered in his movements, he then turned towards Cyprus, and, by threaten- ing to invade the island, easily obtained the con- tinuation of the annual tribute. Interesting letters have been preserved 1 in which Sultan Qaitbay acknowledges, first, in 1476, Catherine's royalty, and secondly, in 1490, the domination of Venice over the island of Cyprus, in each case accompanied by rich presents, spices, sugar, pieces of silk, robes of honour, and plates and bowls of porcelain ; the letter to the widowed 1 Italian translations of these are to be found in Mas Latrie's Histoire de Chypre, Vol. Ill, p. 405. 93 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES queen is very lordly and condescending in tone, and graciously accepts her excuses for having omitted for two years to pay the tribute, owing to the revolution during which her husband and her uncle had died. If the means used by Qaitbay to enforce an annual subsidy from the Venetian Republic were fully justified, the same cannot be said of many cases in which historians detail the cruelty and injustice of his exactions. He neglected no opportunity or pretext to seize upon the heritage of any rich man who happened to die ; he burdened the fellahin with taxes and went so far as to torture people in order to obtain money from them to enable him to gratify his mania for building. The history of Zein ed Din Yehia gives an example of his rapacious cruelty. An Armenian by birth, he filled for many years the post of ostaddr or major-domo, and Ibn lyas relates that he was repeatedly imprisoned or tortured under accusations of embezzlement of funds. He had certainly become a very rich man and, during the reign of Sultan Gaqmaq, his protector, he built three fine mosques. One of those mosques (A.D. 1444) is to be found in Bein 94 THE EPOCH OF SULTAN OAlTBAY el Nehdein and was restored by the Comite. The repairs were begun in 1884, when very few monuments had yet received any attention, but the work was interrupted again and again for lack of funds. At last, in 1897, the restoration was finished, at a total cost of two thousand nine hundred and eleven pounds. The mosque is small and planned after the later Circassian style, with that peculiarity that the little school (kuttdb) is placed, not above a fountain as usual, but above the tomb, which is therefore without a dome. Like the later mosque of Qichmas el Ishaky, this monument is very effectively situated on a triangular piece of ground between two diverging streets, the minaret placed well forward and two charming mushrabiya balconies lend grace to the east faade. The panelled pulpit bears on its door frame the escritoire blason, placed sym- metrically from left to right and then from right to left. Zein ed Din's second mosque, at Bulaq, dates from the year 1449, and is often called the Mehkemeh, or Tribunal. It is now being exten- sively repaired. Like the third monument, by he same builder, situated in the Habbaniya, it 95 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES presents an open sahn and a colonnade. The last mentioned building bears no date, but, on architectural grounds, Captain Creswell 1 places it later than the two others. The same authority attributes to Zein ed Din the small ribdt in the Sharia Bein es Surein, known as the mausoleum of Sheykh Abu Taleb (No. 141 on plan). Zein ed Din and Qaitbay had formerly had violent quarrels and, after the latter had become Sultan, he was cowardly enough to take advantage of his position in order to avenge himself cruelly upon his former enemy. In 1469, he had the old man (Zein ed Din was then over eighty) arrested in his house and imprisoned in the Citadel ; he then sent for him and, after over- whelming him with insults, had him flogged in his presence until the victim fainted. The next and following days the same scene was repeated ; finally the unfortunate octogenarian died in his prison. The fact was reported to the Sultan, who refused to believe it until he had seen the corpse. He then laid hands on the wealth which had excited his cupidity. This ferocious picture goes very badly with contemporary descriptions of Qaitbay 's piety 1 Brief Chronology, p. 131. 9 6 SEBIL-KUTTAB OF SULTAN QUITBAY. THE EPOCH OF SULTAN QAITBAY According to several legends, holy men had had dreams foretelling his greatness which he, in his modesty, forbade them to repeat. Ibn lyas, speaking of his piety, relates a pretty episode : the Sultan, returning from a ride, accompanied by several Emirs, met the coffin of a poor, foreign woman, being carried to the cemetery ; no one followed the humble bier, the men who carried it were alone. Alighting from his horse, and order- ing his Emirs to do likewise, Qaitbay followed the coffin for some distance, then himself per- formed, in the street, the prayer for the dead. But his piety was chiefly manifested by the large number of pious buildings that he erected. He built several sebils, or fountains for the poor, in Cairo, and, in Jerusalem, a very characteristic one in the sacred precincts of the Dome of the Rock. 1 The charming little cupola, draped with carved arabesques, is unlike any of the many domes in the Holy City, though very familiar to eyes accustomed to Mameluke architecture in Cairo. The engaged columns in the western angles are also very suggestive of the Qaitbay style, though I do not remember seeing any exactly like them with their alternate courses 1 See Frontispiece. H 97 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES of plain and carved stone fitted in zigzag. Qaitbay restored many mosques, including the most holy, such as El Azhar, 1 the Mosque of Amr, the Mausoleum of the Imam Shafey, etc. etc. At Mecca, he built houses for poor pilgrims and a madrassa ; he is also said to have built schools at Ghazza and Damietta, both now disappeared, whilst the one at Jerusalem preserves a magnificent porch, and many interesting stone panels carved in the same designs as those that are to be found in his Cairo buildings. This proves how much of this special style is due to the individual taste of the sovereign who must have imposed it upon the craftsmen whom he employed. In Alexandria, his name has remained attached to the fort and mosque which he built on what the most reliable authorities consider to have been the site of the ancient Pharos. Among the religious monuments which he erected in Cairo, Ibn lyas mentions " his beauti- ful mosque outside Bab el Qarafa," of which practically nothing remains ; he also speaks of his mosque at Roda, built on the site of an older one and of which some parts still date from his time, and of another, " Sheykh Sultan Shah." 1 See Rambles in Cairo, p. 13. 9 8 THE EPOCH OF SULTAN QAITBAY The last mentioned, situated in the Sharia Gheit el Edda, leading to Bab el Khalq, and seldom visited, has now a modern fa9ade, but the curious octagonal columns carved with arabesques and the inner East fa9ade, showing the Sultan's cartouches, are still to be seen. Qaitbay died in A.D. 1496 (A.H. 901), at the age of eighty. The day before his death, the Mamelukes, seeing he could not recover, forced the almost unconscious patient to abdicate ; they were then in the midst of one of the crises of quarrels and fighting which occurred periodi- cally within that turbulent corps. Qaitbay 's son Mohammed, a worthless young man, was en- throned in his place. Ibn lyas describes the dead Sultan as being a tall and powerful man, his face square rather than oval and highly coloured. It seems sur- prising that, with such a striking physique, he should have been able to disguise himself as a Maghraby (Moor), which he is said to have done, and to wander in the streets and in the mosque of El-Azhar in order to listen to conversations and to hear what was being said of him. It may be that his incognito was not so complete as it pleased him to believe. 99 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES He left the kingdom impoverished by con- tinual wars, a terrible plague (1492), and the enormous building expenses owing to which he earned the artistic reputation which has clung to his name. 100 MOSQUE OF KHAIRBEK. NORTH-WEST FA9ADE. CHAPTER IX THE MOSQUE OF KHAIRBEK NEXT to the Mosque of Aqsunqur, the tourists' " Blue Mosque," stands the Mosque of Khairbek, a monument of which the outer aspect is exceptionally pleasing to the eye. This is partly due to the fact that the street facade, instead of presenting a long un- broken line, is flanked on either side by a bold projecting wing, consisting of a sebil at the north end and a mausoleum at the other. The latter is covered by a beautiful stone dome carved in delicate lace-like arabesques ; it is a great pity that the Comite has not yet seen its way to straighten the iron finial which is leaning over rather badly ; a small detail like that is sufficient to spoil the pleasure of gazing at the whole edifice. The minaret, which, like many others, has lost its upper part, but which in this case has been left in its uncrowned beauty, is one of the finest in Cairo, its proportions being unusually harmonious and successful in conveying an 101 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES impression of solidity. This effect is the more re- markable in that the minaret, instead of standing on a solid base, as is the general rule, is built over a romantic little vaulted chamber, at the angle of the mausoleum and the west fagade, in the Tabbana Street. The entrance portal, a graceful archway in the style of El-Ghury, does not open immediately into the sanctuary of the mosque, but into a yard full of ruins ; on the right, a flight of stone steps leads into the madmssa. I have brought several artistic and intelligent visitors, who have made no special study of Moslem architecture, to see this mosque, which is not one of the most celebrated, and each of them has remarked on the beauty of the interior. It does not impress me in the same way, but rather gives me a sensation of uneasy, enigmatical attraction, due perhaps to the fact that the con- struction is abnormal and unexpected, a departure from the usual lines of the fifteenth century mosques. At the same time it does not follow the natural process of transition that might have been expected at a moment when there was a distinct evolution in architectural style ; the differences which it presents are so marked as to seem intentional, a kind of snobbish flattery 102 MOSQUE OF KHAIRBEK. PORCH. i ' >.?: " : ; \ l<1 s V: ; . THE MOSOUE OF KHAlRBEK of the new conquerors. It may be that the unpleasant personality of the Emir Khairbek, revealed by the interesting chronicle of Ibn lyas, reflects upon the mosque which he founded, and that the judgment of those who know nothing about him is fairer to the monument ; thus it is easier to criticise a book impartially if the foibles or vices of the writer are unknown. Some people are so sensitive to architecture that certain buildings seem to them to exhale a perceptible good or evil psychic influence ; it would be curious to know what effect the Mosque of Khairbek has on such. The group of monuments of which it forms part was not built at one and the same time, and, for that reason, lacks the satisfying homogeneity which generally characterises the rapidly built Mameluke monuments. The mausoleum is dated by an inscription (908-1502), and Aly Pasha Moubarak, who had access to the waqf documents concerning the religious buildings of Cairo, gives for the mosque the date of A.H. 927. The courtyard also contains the ruins of a large palace which, being connected with the mausoleum by an arch, is supposed to have belonged to the same Emir. If this supposition 103 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES is correct, as seems very probable, Captain Creswell's 1 historical reasons for dating this palace about A.H. 906 appear to be well founded. The interior appearance of the mausoleum agrees very well with the date given by the inscription ; the style is that of the late fifteenth century mosques, and many details recall the two mosques of Sultan El Ghury, in the Ghuriya. It is brightly lighted and, to my mind, carries no suggestion of supernatural horrors, but it is said that, for many years after Khairbek's death, the place was supposed to be haunted, and the voice of the dead oppressor of the poor was heard every night groaning and imploring the pardon of Allah for his wickedness. The funeral chamber is entered by a fine doorway in the south-east corner of the sanctuary ; next to it is a small door leading into the vaulted chamber which supports the minaret, and the irregularity of those two unequal doorways under one arch is one of the uncomfortable features of the interior of the build- ing. The whole madrassa, built during the time when Khairbek represented in Cairo the Turkish Sultan, is quite different from a Mameluke 1 Brief Chronology of Muhammadan Monuments in Egypt, p. 151. 104 MOSQUE OF KHAIRBEK. INTERIOR. THE MOSQUE OF KHAlRBEK mosque and very singular. The sahn, instead of presenting an open centre or a flat wooden roofing surmounted by a lantern, is covered over by cross-vaults interrupted in the centre by a small octagonal opening forming a lantern or skylight. This feature, until that date practically unknown in Cairo, is frequently to be found in Palestine and North Syria, carried out in one kind of stone. In this case the colour effect is much better than would appear from the photograph, the stone used being in alternate fawn and reddish courses, only contrasting just enough to form an agreeable relief. The decoration is sober and restrained ; a graceful naskhy inscription in black letters inlaid in white marble forms a frieze above a simple facing of marble mosaic. A good dikka of woodwork fills the vaulted bay which faces the mihrdb. The orientation of this not being quite correct, the Sheykhs have here rectified it by placing in it a small water-colour painting of a mihrdb. The worldly fortune which attended the founder could not have been less merited, and the record of his life, which is to be extracted from the chronicles of Ibn lyas, forms a series of treacherous, cruel, and avaricious dealings. SOME CAIRO MOSQUES Unfortunately the MSS. from which the Bulaq edition has been printed, alone available here, is not complete, the greater part of the reign of El-Ghury being missing, and it is probable that many interesting details relating to Khairbek's early life and betrayal of Egypt are to be found in the Paris MSS., quoted by van Berchem and Casanova. A summary of his life in a few lines, a sort of obituary notice added by Ibn lyas to the narrative of his death, and one or two allusions to the part he played at the battle of Marg Dabek, are all we have here to go upon. According to that summary, Khairbek was the son of the Emir Bilbay, a Circassian, and origin- ally belonged to Qaitbay's corps of Mamelukes. Not only he but several of his brothers attained a high rank at Court ; one of them even became Vice-Roy of Syria under Sultan el Ghury. Khairbek's own career included a mission to Constantinople as ambassador, in the time of Sultan Mohammed, son of Qaitbay, and it may be that his Turkish inclinations date from that time. He was made Governor of Aleppo in A.H. 910 and remained in that post until Sultan Selim Shah defeated El Ghury at Marg Dabek, a victory which practically decided the conquest of Egypt. 106 THE MOSQUE OF KHAlRBEK Khairbek commanded the left wing of the Egyptian Army, and another Mameluke Emir, Ganbardy El-Ghazzaly, the right. The Turks were provided with artillery, new to the Mameluke troops, and it is said to have terrified them utterly, but there seems no doubt that Khairbek, and perhaps Ghazzaly also, had been bought by Turkish gold. The two wings went over to the enemy in the midst of the battle, leaving the brave but aged Sultan to be trampled to death under the feet of the fleeing horses of the centre, which he himself commanded. Selim did not forget what he owed to Khairbek but loaded him with honours ; it would seem, however, that at one time the treacherous Emir's allegiance to the Turk wavered, for Ibn lyas tells us that, at that time, he entertained in what we will decorously call his heart (batnoh) feelings of disloyalty towards the Sultan. Such feelings, however, were not in his interest, and he suppressed them so successfully that, in A.H. 923, he became Governor of Cairo, with the title of Pasha. He was the first of that long list of Viceroys delegated by the Ottomans to rule over Cairo, whose power, though almost unlimited, was so transitory that an official actually existed (the 107 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES dda bachy) whose sole duty consisted in carrying to the Pasha the news of his dismissal. Khairbek, however, was never dismissed, but died in office. On the occasion of his accession to the seat of Governor, he made what was evidently con- sidered a suitable match by taking to wife the widow of a previous Mameluke Sultan, the Princess Masrbay, who had been the wife of Ez-Zaher Qansuh. She was duly installed in the Citadel where the new Governor had taken up his residence. A good deal of scandal seems to have been caused by the fact that the wedding took place in the month of Ramadan, and was attended by a number of ladies who rode up on donkeys. The marriage did not prove a happy one, for the bride at all events, for, two years later, in A.H. 925, we find that all Cairo was talking because, for some unknown reason, the Governor had beaten his wife until she nearly died. Many other acts of cruelty are recorded of him ; Ibn lyas says that more than ten thousand persons were put to death by his orders. He had a violent temper, and delighted in condemning slaves to torture and death for trifling offences ; a great many of his victims are mentioned by name and details of their executions are given. 108 THE MOSQUE OF KHAlRBEK Absolutely unscrupulous where money was con- cerned, he took advantage of his situation to despoil the fellahs and, by the time he died, had a huge fortune, in spite of the fact that Egypt was greatly impoverished by recent wars and the wholesale plunder by the Turks, while she had of late years lost the lucrative Indian trade through the adoption of the Cape sea-route. The Cir- cassian Mamelukes, Khairbek's former comrades, were frequently kept waiting for months for the arrears of their pay, and compensated themselves by looting and pillaging houses and shops. His death was ardently desired by the oppressed Egyptians, and, when the dome of Mohammed el Nasser's iwdn on the Citadel fell in A.H. 928* it was considered an omen of evil for the Governor, and secretly rejoiced over by the people for that reason. He died in the same year of erysipelas, after a painful illness of several days which, says the chronicler, were the happiest the poor had known since he had been in power. Remorse seems in fact to have come to the dying man, who tried to propitiate the Avenger by all means in his power. He ordered hundreds of captives to be liberated and slaves to be freed ; money and food were distributed among the poor. He was buried 109 SOME CAIRO MOSOUES in his mausoleum where it seems that one of his brothers, the Emir Ganbalat, had already been interred in the year 908 of the Hegira. Another mausoleum bearing the name of Khairbek is to be found in Aleppo, probably built as a precaution in case he should die during his governorate. It is of stone, and very simple in style, comprising two small domes and the ruined remains of a third. Above, the naskhy inscription and the round cartouches containing the blason of the founder are reminiscent of the ornamentation of contemporaneous buildings in Cairo. The blason is very full and includes the dawaddr's escritoire engraved across the cup- bearer's chalice, flanked with two mouth horns, a second cup below and a lozenge above. It is also to be found on other buildings in Aleppo, the Khan ez Zeit and the Khan es Sabim, no doubt built under Khairbek J s rule. no CHAPTER X THE MOSQUE OF MALIKA SAFlYA VISITORS to Cairo mosques are so accustomed to enter them by stepping over a low threshold or, at the most, mounting a few steps, that it is quite startling to have to climb an imposing flight of steps in order to reach the door of this mosque. The effect is very picturesque, especially as the steps are disposed in a semi-circle, forming a kind of artificial hill on which the monument is enthroned, and its unique appearance often leads to curiosity respecting its history, which is a remarkable one. For this is one of the few mosques in Cairo which bear a woman's name, though Queen Safiya does not seem to have concerned herself with the foundation of the edifice, but to have laid hands on it after one of her officials had built it. The career of this woman was a highly romantic one. She belonged to the noble Venetian family of Baffo, and her father was Governor of the island of Corfu. Having sailed from Venice in SOME CAIRO MOSQUES one day in the year 1575, with a large party of other ladies, in order to visit her father, her ship was captured by pirates, who were so struck by her extraordinary beauty that they reserved her for the hareem of Sultan Murad III. The latter, a weak, frivolous, but kindly prince, conceived for her a violent passion, with which she continued to inspire him until his death, and from the first moment her influence over him became paramount in spite of the desperate efforts of her rivals. According to the Turkish historians Abu Faruq and Ahmed Rassem, kindly consulted for me by Ahmed Pasha Zaki, it was under the reign of Selim II, father of Murad, that women began to wield a power hitherto confined to men only, and, before the advent of Safiya, the Sultan was entirely ruled over by his mother, a Jewess named Nur-Banu, and his sister, Princess Asma, married to Sokolli Pasha. The two women saw with much disfavour the growing power of the new arrival, who had immediately been made Sultana Khasski, or Favourite, and they stooped to every means to counteract it, seeking the most beautiful slaves they could find in the hope of diverting Murad 's love from the Venetian. On two occasions he was 112 THE MOSQUE OF MALIK A SAFlYA temporarily attracted, firstly, by a certain calfa, named Raziya, who had acquired some influence over him by telling his fortune when he was Crown Prince and, secondly, by a brilliantly clever Hungarian dancer, but only to return to Safiya more ardently than ever. Nur-Banu feigned to believe that this was due to sorcery, and caused several of the favourite's slaves to be executed, but she never succeeded in defeat- ing her beautiful daughter-in-law, and died in impotent despair. She became reconciled to Safiya on her death-bed, and advised her to secure the services of her own freed- woman, Djanfida, who carried great weight both in the Palace and outside, and who, as Governess of the hareem, undertook to train slave girls for the master's favour. Safiya, strong in her position, which had become more assured by her having given a first-born son to the Sultan, seems to have left the management of the hareem to Djanfida, but to have reserved the affairs of the State for herself. She lost no opportunity of serving either her country or her countrymen, and her name appears in several negotiations between the Porte and Venice. 1 1 An interesting episode illustrates Safiya 's importance as well as her inclinations : in 1585, the French ambassador, I 113 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES When Murad died (1595), leaving no fewer than twenty sons, Safiya's son Mohammed ascended the throne, and we cannot absolve the powerful Queen-Mother from having assented to the mur- der of the nineteen others a barbarous custom which had obtained at the Turkish court since the reign of Mohammed I. One of those un- fortunate youths, Prince Mustapha, was a poet, and wept over himself in pathetic verses, written in prevision of his own death when he heard of that of his father. With all his faults, Murad had one noble inclination a passion for building ; he erected fortifications against the Persians, and founded mosques at Adrianople, Cyprus, Magnesia, etc. Queen Safiya emulated her husband in this ; she built a mosque at Scutari, and a cloister for the Mawlawiya dervishes besides the palace known as Daoud Pasha, which is situated on a height and which she intended for a refuge in case of a rising of the people. She had become possessed of an enormous fortune, and occasionally defrayed Germigny, asked for the assistance of an Ottoman fleet against Philip II, and Queen Catherine of Medici wrote on the subject an autograph letter to the Sultana, who com- municated it to the Venetian ambassador. 114 THE MOSQUE OF MALIKA SAFlYA the pay of some of the troops or other war expenses from her privy purse ; but it was chiefly by gifts of beautiful slaves that she preserved her power over her son. According to Von Hammer, 1 her influence was corrupt and baneful and she was partly responsible for the deplorable mistakes made by the Government of Mohammed III. When he died in 1603, his son and successor, Ahmed I, who was only fourteen years of age, refused to accede to the fratricidal custom of his predecessors and allowed his brother, Mustafa, to survive. His grandmother Safiya, or Baffa, as she was frequently called, formerly all-power- ful, first as Sultana Khassaki, under Murad III, and then as Sultana Valida (dowager) under Mohammed III, was sent to the Old Seraglio, where she lived in obscurity for fourteen more years. Her whole suite of slave girls, eunuchs, etc., followed her, with the exception of her major-domo, who was executed. She died in 1618, in the first year of Othman IPs short reign. Some curious documents have been preserved in the waqf archives, relating to a trial and judgment pronounced at Stamboul in 1594, 1 History of the Ottoman Empire. "5 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES which throw an interesting light on the judicial customs of the time, and which constitute a biography of the Mosque of Malika Safiya in Cairo, if one may use such a term in speaking of a stone and brick entity. According to these, the mosque was built by a eunuch named Othman ibn Abdullah, who endowed it with the revenue from a very large property. Another eunuch, named 'Abd er Razaq, evidently Queen Safiya 's agent, alleged that Othman, being her slave, had no right to found a mosque or to dispose of any landed property, and claimed, on the Queen's behalf, possession of the property which had been appro- priated to it. This would seem to have happened after the founder's death, for the steward in charge of the waqf, Daoud Agha, swore that Othman Agha had been freed by the Queen before he died, and that, moreover, he had acted on her behalf and with her consent. 'Abd er Razaq having denied these allegations, Daoud Agha demanded that the Queen herself be called as a witness. The Qady deferred to his request and sent two deputies to the Palace to receive the Queen's oath. On the strength of it he then gave judgment in her favour, annulling the 116 THE MOSQUE OF MALIKA SAFlYA waqfiya and dismissing Daoud from his post. The Queen thereupon renewed the waqf and appointed J Abd er Razaq as steward or agent of the property. As a sequel to this well docu- mented case, we find an inscription over the entrance door leading from the sahn into the sanctuary, which runs as follows : " This blessed Mosque was founded by " (here follows a long string of titles) " the mother of our late Lord Sultan Mohammed Khan . . . by the hand of our Lord Ismail Agha, legal steward of the aforesaid waqf. " This inscription was completed on the ayth Moharram of the year 1019 (A.D. 1610) of the Hegira." This leads one to suppose that, several years after the building of the mosque, Queen Safiya, still disposing of great riches although her son had now died, had an inscription placed in Othman Agha's monument, attributing the foundation of it to herself. Even the honour of supervising the building is denied to Othman, but given to a certain eunuch, Ismail Agha, who has not hitherto appeared in the story, but who is here markedly called the " legal " steward of the aforesaid waqf. The date of building is carefully 117 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES left unmentioned, only that of the completion of the inscription being quoted. The whole thing has an air of duplicity which does more credit to Safiya's cleverness than to her honesty. There are other points of interest in the documents relating to the Mosque of Malika Safiya, which have been communicated to me through the kindness of Signor A. Patricolo. One of these points, illustrating the literary preoccupations of Moslem men of business, is that the waqftya in question is entirely written in rhymed verse. In order to conform with the exigencies of this, the name of 'Abd el Razaq's father, which would in the ordinary way be assumed to be 'Abdallah, as was the custom where eunuchs were concerned, is sometimes given as 'Abd el Halim, and sometimes 'Abd el Hannan, according to the rhyme required, both these names having practically the same meaning as 'Abdallah. Another point is the extent of the waqf, con- stituted first by Othman Agha, and then confirmed by the Queen. It included a four hundred feddan village in the Manuf province and an estate in the Bulaq road, comprising seventeen 118 i MOSQUE OF MILIKA SAFIYA. MINARET. THE MOSQUE OF MALIKA SAFlYA storehouses, one cafe, thirty- two shops, fifteen tenement-rooms, one stable, five wells, two tanneries and one slaughter-house. Here is also a list of the officials and attendants appointed at high wages for the services of the mosque : two preachers, two imams, four muezzins, two time-keepers, ten Quran-readers, two singers " with fine voices," three readers of special passages in the Quran, two cleaners, one librarian, one leader of prayer, two lamp -lighters, two carpet beaters, two attendants for the ablution court, four gardeners for the garden which then existed in front of the mosque, and lastly, one practical workman for small repairs to the building. The monument itself is quite worthy of attention ; it is entirely Turkish in style, without the numerous Mameluke details of structure and ornament that are to be found in several other mosques built in Cairo since the Turkish con- quest, such as Sidi Sariya, El Bordeiny and Abu Dhahab. It stands quite clear from other buildings, a feature which, according to Captain Creswell, distinguishes mosques, properly so called, from madrassas or college-mosques. The latter are usually dominated in plan by the line of the 119 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES street to which they conform externally, whatever the orientation of their interior may be, and often have one fa$ade only. It is preceded by a square court-yard to which access may be obtained, at present, by two doors, each reached by a flight of steps in the centre of the south and west faces of the courtyard ; there is also a third door on the north side to which there is now no stair- case. The cloister which runs all round the fore- court has three arches to each side, springing from columns, and it is vaulted by a series of small domes on Byzantine pendentives * of a type unknown in Egypt before the Turkish conquest, the dome on the centre of each side being oblong in plan. One small dome, however, stands up entirely distinct from the others, the outline of it being much more like the usual Mameluke form ; it covers a small square room by the north-west corner of the sanctuary, approached by a narrow, screened gallery, which lines the west wall at a lower level than the circular gallery which runs 1 Domes on continuous sphere pendentives (i.e., where dome and pendentive are struck from the same centre) appear in Fatimite times. Here, however, the dome rises with a steeper curvature than the pendentive. 120 MOSQUE OF MALIKA SAF!YA. INTERIOR. THE MOSQUE OF MALIKA SAFIYA around the dome. The room was very probably intended for ladies, for a mushrabiya window looks out from it into the sanctuary. A fine stalactite doorway leads into the sanctuary over which lies the great dome, resting on six pointed arches. It is surrounded by smaller arches, of which the pendentives are cleverly elongated or contracted to fit the irregular rectangle they are required to fill. The main dome is of brick and is pierced with a number of small circular openings in addition to a row of windows round the base. At the level of the latter, a narrow gallery rests on projecting wooden beams. The mihrdb stands at the back of a square annexe built out in the centre of the east side and roofed with a dome. The dikka, or wooden balcony, is reached by a staircase arranged in the thickness of the wall, a common feature in Turkish mosques. The beautiful minbar is also characteristically Turkish ; it is entirely carved in white marble, even to the door, and presents an open-work, geometrical design which is exactly the same as that of the unique wooden trellis in Barquq's desert mausoleum. M. Saladin mentions that this particular form of ornament is to be found 12 121 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES executed in marble in some Constantinople mosques, and gives a photograph 1 of the minbar of the Sulimaniya Mosque in which it is plainly visible. He goes on to say that it is to be found " in the Mosque of Sitta Nafissa in Cairo " ; this is evidently owing to a confusion with the subject of the present chapter, for the minbar of Sitta Nafissa, like the whole of that mosque, is modern and devoid of particular interest. 1 Page 514. 122 CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF THE PRINCIPAL MOSLEM MONUMENTS OF CAIRO NO. ON A.H. A.D. PLAN. 1 199 814 Nilometer . . . -79 212 827 Mosque of Amr ibn el Aas . 319 254-63 869-76 Aqueduct of Ibn Tulun 263-5 876-9 Mosque of Ibn Tulun . . 220 FATIMITE MONUMENTS 358-60 969-71 Bab Qady-Askar . . 47 359-61 970-2 Mosque of El Azhar . . 97 380-403 990-1012 Mosque of El Hakim . .15 478 1085 Mosque of El Guyushy . 304 480 1087 Bab en Nasr ... 7 480 1087 Bab el Futuh ... 6 484 1090 Bab ez Zuweila . . . 199 519 1125 Mosque of El Aqmar . . 33 527 1133 Mashhad of Sayeda Ruqiya . 273 555 1 1 60 Mosque of Es Saleh Talayeh . 116 1 The plan published by the Comite de Conservation offers a number for each monument classed and registered ; I have reproduced these numbers in the plan published with Rambles in Cairo. They are also quoted in every instance in Captain CreswelPs Brief Chronology. Each monument bears a green enamel label with its number in white Arabic characters. 123 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES AYUBITE MONUMENTS NO. ON A.H. A.D. PLAN. 522-89 1176-93 Burg ez Zafar 572 , etc . 1 1 76 , etc . Citadel 608 121 1 Mausoleum of the Imam Shafey . . . .218 639-41 1242-4 College of Negm et Din Ayub 38 640 1242-3 Mausoleum of Abbasside Khalifes .... 276 647-8 1249-50 Mausoleum of Negm ed Din Ayub . . . .38 BAHARITE MONUMENTS 648 1250 Mausoleum of Shagarat ed Durr 169 665 1266-7 Bridge of Abul Munagga 665-7 1266-9 Mosque of Ez Zaher Beybars i 687 1284 Muristan of Qalaun . . 43 683-4 J 284-5 Mausoleum of Qalaun . . 43 684 1285 Madrassa of Qalaun . . 43 695-703 1295-6 = Madrassa of Mohammed en 1303-4 Nasser . ... 44 697 1298 Mausoleum of Zein ed Din Yusuf .... 172 73 !3 3 Madrassa of Sangar el Gawly 221 706-9 1306-9 Mausoleum of Beybars el Gashenkir . . . . 32 711 1311 Aqueduct . . . .78 715 1315 Tomb of Hassan Sadaqa . 263 124 CHRONOLOGICAL LIST A.H. A.D. NO . ON 7^-35 i3!8-35 Mosque of Moh. en Nasser PLAN. (Citadel) .... 143 730 1329-30 Mosque of Almas . I 3 730 1329-30 Mosque of Qusun . 202 720-42 1320-41 OkalaofQusun . II 736 1335 Mausoleum of Qusun 290 736 J 335 Mosque of Beshtak 205 738 c- J 337 Palace of Yushbak 266 738-40 1337-9 Palace of Beshtak . 34 739-40 1339-40 Mosque of el Mardany . 120 740 1339-40 Mosque of Hadaq Miska 252 742 1341 Baths of Beshtak . 244 744-6 1344-5 Mosque of Aslam el Bahay . 112 747-8 1346-7 Mosque of Aqsunqur . 123 749 1348 Mausoleum of Princess Toghay 81 750 1349 Mosque of Sheikhu H7 756 1355 Mausoleum of Sheikhu . 152 757 1356 Madrassa of Serghatmish 218 757-64 1356-63 Mosque of Sultan Hassan 133 761-2 1360 Mausoleum of Princess Tatar 36 765 1363-4 Mausoleum of Princess Tulbiya 80 770 1368-9 Mosque of Sultan Shaaban . 125 774 1373 Mosque of Algay et Yussefy . 131 CIRCASSIAN MONUMENTS 783 1382 Mausoleum of Yunis et Dawadar .... 139 785 1383 Mausoleum of Aytmish el Nagashy .... 250 125 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES NO. ON A.H. A.D. PLAN. 786-8 1384-6 Madrassa of Barquq . .187 797 1395 Madrassa of Mahmud el Kurdy 117 811 I4O8 Mosque of Gamal ed Din Yusuf . . . .35 812 1409 Madrassa of Farag . . 203 809-13 I4OO-IO Tomb of Barquq . . . 149 814 I4II Tomb of El 'Ainy . .102 818-23 1415-20 Mosque of El Muayyad . 190 822-3 I4I9-2O Muristan of El Muayyad . 60 823 I42O Baths of El Muayyad 826-7 H23-4 Madrassa of Barsbay . . 175 833 1430 Mosque of Gohar el Lala . 134 835 H32 Mausoleum of Barsbay . .121 c. 1430-40 Mausoleum of Umm el Ashraf 106 841 H37 Mosque of Barsbay at Khanqa 844 1440 Mosque of Taghry Bardy . 19 848 1444 Mosque of Yehia Zein ed Din 182 852-3 1448-9 Mosque of Yehia Zein ed Din 344 853-7 !449-53 Mosque of Yehia Zein ed Din 204 854-60 H50-56 Convent of Inal . . .158 c. 860 H56 Mausoleum of Barsbay . .124 877-9 1472-4 Mausoleum of Qaitbay . . 99 880 H75 Madrassa of Qaitbay . . 222 882 H77 Okala of Qaitbay (el Azhar) . 75 883 1478 Madrassa of Ganem el Bahlawan . . . .129 884 1479-80 Madrassa of Abu Bakr b. Muzhir . . . . 49 885 1480-1 Okala of Qaitbay (Bab en Nasr) 9 126 CHRONOLOGICAL LIST A.H. A.D. NO. ON PLAN. 885-6 I48O-I Mosque of Qishmas el Ishaky 114 884-6 I479-8I Mausoleum el Fadawiya . 5 c. 1490 Mosque of Abul *Ila . 340 QOO H94-5 Madrassa of Ezbek el Yussefy . . . .211 908 1502 Mausoleum of Khairbek . 248 908 1503 Mosque of Emir Akhor . 136 908-9 1503 Mosque of El Ghury . .189 908-10 1503-4 Mausoleum of El Ghury . 66 906-22 I50I-I6 Gates of Khan Khalil . 53,4,6 906-22 I50I-I6 Okala of El Ghury . . 64 TURKISH MONUMENTS 935 1528 Mosque of " Sidi Sariya " .142 945 1538 Mosque of Shahin Agha el Khaluaty 975 1567 Mosque el Mahmudiya . . 135 975 T 5 6 7 Mosque of Sinan Pasha 1019 1610 Mosque of Malika Safiya . 200 1041 1631 House el Giridliya . .321 1047 1637 House of Gamal ed Din . 72 U57 J 744 Sabil kuttaf of Abder Rahman Katkhoda . . . .21 1187 1773 Mosque of Mohammed Abu Dhahab . . . .98 "93 1779 Palace of Musaffer Khan . 20 1205 1790 Mosque of Ahmed el Bordainy 201 1327 1911 Mosque of er Rifay 1336 1920 Mosque of Abul 'Path (Abdine) 127 INDEX OF PERSONAL NAMES Abbas, Wazir, 3, 4 'Abdallah, 4 'Abdel Hamid Bey Mustafa, 83 'Abdel Malek, 48 'Abd el Rahman, 41, 42 'Abd er Razak, 116, 118 Abu Bekr ibn Muzhir, 84, 87,89 Abu Dhahab, 119 Abu Faruq, 112 Abu Horiba, 82 Abul Mohassen, Gamel ed Din, 17 'Aded le din Illah, Khalife el, 4,6 'Adel, el, 14 Ahmed 1, 115 Ahmed Rassem, 112 Ahmed Sultan, 75 Ahmed Zaki Pacha, 112 Akush, 54 Alexander Borgia, 79, 80 'Aly Bey Bahgat, 9 'Aly, ibn Abu Taleb, i 'Aly, son of Aybek, 33, 36 'Aly Pacha Mubarak, 103 'Amr, ibn el 'Aas, 62, 98 Aqbogha, 38 Aqmar, el, 13 Aslam el Bahay, 85 Asma, Princess, 112 Aubusson, Cardinal d', 77 Aybek el Muezz, 7, 26, 31, 32> 33, 34, 35> 36 Azhar, El, 8, 62, 89, 98 Badr el Gamaly, 7 BafFo, see Safiya Bahgat, see 'Aly Balqish Jehan Raziya, 26 Barsbay, Sultan, 74, 90 Bayazid, 77, 78, 80, 83 Bektimur, Seif ed Din, 8 Berchem, van, 10, 40, 43, 76, 106 Beshtak, 12 Beybars el Bondoqdary, 23, 25 Beybars el Gashenkir, 8, 49, 5, 5 1 , 53, 54, 55, 5 6 , 59> 62, 63, 64, 69, 71 Bilbay, 106 Birgwan, 85 Blochet, E., 26 Bordeiny el, 119 Casanova, 106 Chagarett Od Dourr, see Shagaret ed Durr 129 SOME CAIRO MOSQUES Charles VIII, 79 Chosroes, 48 Comite de Conservation des Monuments Arabes, 9, n, 48, 53>83> 88, 101, 123 Cornaro, Andrea, 90, 91, 92 Cornaro, Caterina, 73, 90, 91, 92, 93 Cornaro, Giorgio, 92 Creswell, 96, 104, 119, 123 Daoud Agha, 116 Djem, 73, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80 Djanfida, 113 Ezbek, Emir, 81 Ezbek el Yussefy, 82 Fadawiya, el, 82 Faiz, Khalife el, 3, 4, 7 Fakhr ed Dm, 17, 20, 21, 23 Fares Aqtay, Emir, 25, 32 Firuz Shah, 26 Fostat, 62 Fouad, H. H. Sultan, 46 Franz Pascha, 70 Gamel ed Din Mohsen, 20, 35 Ganem el Bahlawan, 83 Gaqmaq, Sultan, 74, 94 Ganbalat, no Ganbardy el Ghazzaly, 107 Gayet, 70, 71 Gibb, E. J. N., 80 Giorgione, 93 Ghury el, 87, 102, 104, 106 Hafez-le-din Illah, Khalife el, 4 Hakim, el, 8, 53, 69, 85 Hammer, von, 115 Hassan, Sultan, 48, 72, 83 Helena Paleologue, 90, 91 HerzPacha,83,85,86 Hussein (Martyr), 7 Ibn ed Deif, 5 Ibn lyas, 50, 60, 97, 98, 99, 105, 106, 107, 108 Ibn Masun, 2 Ibn Tulun, 8, 10, 38, 66 Idekin, 33 Inal, Sultan, 74 Innocent VIII, 79 Ismail Agha, 117 Ismail of Damascus, 15 Ismail Pasha, 81 Joinville, 17, 23 Kamel, el, 13, 14, 18,32 Khairbek, 87, 101, 103, 104 106, 107, 108, 109, no Khalil, 19, 20, 27, 30, 38 Khoshqadam, Sultan, 75, 91 Khosrow Pacha, 13 Lagin, 8 Lane Poole, 3, 37, 43, 52, 70 74> 77> 80 Lanzone, 89 Louis, Saint, 16, 18, 19, 22 23> 25 Louis of Savoy, 90, 91 Lulu, Prince of Mausul, 34 Lusignan, Charlotte of, 90 Lusignan, James of, 90, 91 Lusignan, John II of, 90, 91 130 INDEX Mamay, Emir, 83 Maqrizy, i, 5, 18, 20, 27, 33, 36, 49, 51, 61, 62 Marcel, 26 Margoliouth, 70 Marwan, Khalife, 41 Mas Latrie, 93 Masrbay, Princess, 108 Mathias Corvinus, 79 Maurel, Andre", 93 Merionec, A. de, 19 Modestus, 47 Mohammed I, 114 Mohammed II, 73, 75, 76, 77 Mohammed III, 114, 115, 117 Mohammed, son of Qaitbay, 99, 106 Mohammed en Nasser, son of Qalaun, 8, 12, 28, 48, ^9> 55> 5 6 > 57> 5 8 > 59> 6o > u, 64, 65,66, 109 Mostassem b'lllah, Khalife, Mu'awiya, 41 Muezz, el, see Aybek Munissa, 13 Murad III, 112, 114 Mussa Muzaffar ed Din, 32 Mustafa, Prince, 114 Nasser, en, see Mohammed Nasser Youssef, En, 34, 35 Negm ed Din, see Saleh Nur Banu, 112, 113 Othman, Sultan, 74 Othman II, 115 Othman, ibn Abdallah, 116, 118 Osama, 3 Patricolo, 44, 45, 118 Qaitbay, 48, 70, 73, 75, 76, 77, 78, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 88, 89, 93, 94, 96, 97, 99, 106 Qalaun, u, 12, 38, 71, 72 Qanuh, 108 Qichmas el Ishaqy, 82, 95 Quatremere, 49 Raziya, 113 Richard Cceur de Lion, 90 Robert of Artois, 22 Ruzzik, see Saleh Safiya, Malika, in, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118 Saffa, Es, Khalife, 41 Saladin, Sultan, 8, 13 Saladin (writer], 70, 121 Saleh Negm ed Din Ayub, n, 13, 14, 15, 18,19, 20, 23, 26, 27, 28, 30, 32 Saleh Talayeh ibn Ruzzik, i, 2, 3>4>5> 6 >78, 10 Sangar el Gawly, 53, 59, 61, 62,63,66,68,69,87 Selar, 8, 50, 53, 55, 56, 59, 60,61,62,63,64,65,66,68 Selim Shah, Sultan, 106 Selimll, 211 Serghatmish, 10 Shafey, Imam, 45, 47, 48, SOME CAIRO MOSQUES Shagaret ed Durr, 13, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 30, 31, 32, 34> 35> 38 Shams ed Din, 26 Sheykhy,Ech, 60, 61,63 Shawar, 6 Sidi Sariya, 13, 87, 119 Sokoli Pacha, 112 St. Maurice, M. de, 81 Suheyl, 20, 21 Sultan, Shah, Sheykh, 98 Taibars, 38 Talayeh, see Saleh Talayeh Timurbugha, Sultan, 75 Titian, 93 Turan, Shah, 19, 20, 24, 25 Uday, 45 Ummaya, 40 Uzun Hassan, 75 Walid, Khalife el, 41 Yashbak el Mahdy, 82, 83 Yunis, Emir, 14, 15 Yussef Eff. Ahmed, 47 Zaher b'amr Illah, ez, 3 Zein ed Din Yussef, 40, 43, 44, 45, 46, 94, 95, 96 Printed in Great Britain at The Mayflower Press, Plymouth, William Brendon & Son, Ltd. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY, BERKELEY THIS BOOK IS DUE ON THE LAST DATE STAMPED BELOW Books not returned on time are subject to a fine of 50c per volume after the third day overdue, increasing to $1.00 per volume after the sixth day. Books not in demand may be renewed if application is made before expiration of loan period. 15 192* 70ct f 58BH| OCT REC'D LD AU620'64-5PM 2 9 '67 -9 REID NOV24W1 -J5/;/-7. !i J5 YC 59004 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY '