Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Barquq, Cairo

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Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Barquq, Cairo

Four vaulted stone halls, or iwans, open on to an eerily empty courtyard with an intricate domed fountain in the middle. The ceiling of the cavernous qibla iwan on the prayer-ward eastern side is carved with geometric motifs and gilded like illuminations from an ancient Qur’an. Sultan Barquq’s 14th-century complex, with its marble mosaics, monumental bronze doors and elaborately carved minarets, is a masterpiece of Cairo’s Mamluk architecture.

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