Faraj Ibn Barquk Mosque | Ibn Barquk Complex



The building is considered one of the largest complexes that were established in the cemeteries of Egypt to serve various purposes. It includes a mosque, a Khanqah for the establishment of Sufism, a school for receiving religious sciences, two shrines, and two paths, each of which is surmounted by a book to teach children.


The main facade of the building is located on the northwest side, and at each end, there is an entrance to the complex crowned by a three-lobed arch. The western entrance is in use today. On each side of this facade, there is a Sabil and a Kuttab. Above the Facade are two graceful minarets, considered among the most prominent examples of Mamluk minarets in terms of precision workmanship and beauty of proportions.

The floor plan of the complex is almost square and its dimensions are 85 x 85 m. It consists of a large open courtyard measuring 40 x 37 m, surrounded by four iwans. The largest and deepest of these iwans is the qibla iwan, which measures 34 x 17 m. It consists of three arcades with arches parallel to the qibla wall, which are perpendicular to other arches. This iwan is covered by twenty-one low brick domes, in which the transitional areas are formed from spherical triangles. It is similar to the domes of the arcades in the Fatimid Al-Aqmar Mosque. The mihrab is surmounted by a dome that is higher than the rest of the iwan domes. The iwan, facing the qiblah, consists of three porticoes covered with small domes, the transitional areas of which consist of spherical triangles. Each of the two sides iwans consists of a single portico covered by small domes. Behind these two iwans are Sufi retreats.

On either side of the qibla iwan are two mausoleums, each consisting of a square room, which is entered from one side of the qibla iwan through an opening provided with a veil of hollowed wood interlaced with geometrical decorations of the utmost precision and beauty. Both mausoleums are covered by a high stone dome with a diameter of 14 m. The transitional area consists of several rows of muqarnas. The two domes are decorated from the outside with engraved geometric motifs consisting of zigzag lines that take the form of a continuous chain of the number "7". These decorations are considered the pinnacle of accuracy and creativity. The two domes are among the oldest large stone domes established in Cairo, They indicate the extent of the Mamluk engineering sophistication. He was buried in the northeastern mausoleum of Sultan al-Zahir Barquq (r. 784-791 AH / 1382 - 1389 AD and 792 - 801 AH / 1390 - 1399 AD), and some historical sources indicate that Sultan Barquq recommended his son Faraj to bury him in a tomb in his complex. This is not in the madrasa building and the Khanqah built by Sultan Barquq in 788 AH / 1386 AD on al-Mu'izz Street in Cairo. The sons of Sultan Barquq were also buried in this mausoleum. In the southwestern mausoleum, Khawand Chakra, wife of al-Zahir Barquq, and daughter of al-Nasir Faraj were buried. This complex is similar in that it contains two mausoleums to the Umm al-Sultan Shaaban Madrasah (built-in 790 AH / 1369 AD).

Faraj Ibn Barquk Mosque | Ibn Barquk Complex

The most important feature of this building is that it combines the style of schools with iwans and the style of mosques with rows of perpendicular columns. The complex is also distinguished by the symmetry of the architectural elements in its northwest facade, which is evident in the placement of the two Sabils on both sides of the facade, in the symmetry of the two entrances to the complex, and in the two minarets, each of which is located next to one of the two entrances. The symmetry also appears in the northeastern facade of the building, where the two similar domes of the mausoleums were placed on both sides of the facade.

 

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