Showing posts with label Old Cairo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Old Cairo. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

News, Cairo: Part of Arcade Ceiling Collapses at Cairo's Medieval Sarghatmish Mosque and Madrassa

Five wooden beams that were installed during the restoration work carried out at the mosque in 2005 collapsed, leading to a collapse in the ceiling of one of the arcades. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The restored wooden beams holding up the ceiling of part of the arcade in the medieval mosque and madrassa of Sarghatmish collapsed on Tuesday morning, Egypt’s antiquities ministry has said.

Gamal Mustafa, head of the Islamic and Coptic Antiquities Department at the ministry, told Ahram Online that five wooden beams that were installed during the restoration work carried out at the mosque in 2005 to hold up the wooden ceiling of the mosque qibla’s riwaq (arcade) had collapsed.

He said that there are no casualties reported and the mosque, located in Cairo’s Sayyeda Zeinab, is in good conservation condition, except for the fallen beams, and the decorative element that runs along the upper level of the mosque’s main fa├žade.

An engineering company will now consolidate the mosque to avoid any further risk, and start the restoration of the ceiling, Mustafa said, while a cleaning crew from the Arab Contractors cleans the debris.

The mosque-madrassa comprises an open court with a water fountain at its centre, surrounded by eight marble pillars and four iwan (vaulted halls). The mihrab (the point faced during prayer) of the mosque has a panel of white marble with a medallion in the centre and four quarter-medallions in the corners.

Hidden among the leaf and stem forms of the arabesque design are six birds and five hands. On the north corner of the facade are finely carved mashrabiya (wooden lattice) windows.

14th-century treasure

The mosque is located in Saliba Street close to such important Islamic monuments as the mosque of Ibn Tulun, the madrassa and sabil-kuttab of Sultan Qaitbay, the Gayer Anderson House, the mosque of Raghri Bardi and the mosque and madrassa of Hassan Pasha Tahir.

Until the 14th century, the area was dotted with waste and rubbish heaps along with cemeteries and private estates. The redevelopment of the citadel under Sultan Al- Nasser Mohamed led to the transformation of this zone into an urban area, and Saliba Street became a major thoroughfare. Princes built town houses, palaces, mosques and schools in the area.

The mosque and madrassa of Sarghatmish are attached to the northeast wall of the Ibn Tulun mosque and were originally part of the Ibn Tulun complex, but were later turned into houses. 

In 1356 these houses were demolished by Prince Sarghatmish, a Mamluk in the reign of Al-Nasser Mohamed Ibn Qalawun, so he could build his own mosque and madrassa.

This renowned Mamluk prince was the jamandara (wardrobe keeper) of Al-Nasser Mohamed Ibn Qalawun. His prominence dates from the reigns of Al-Nasser's minor sons, when he took an active part in battles waged on their behalf. In 1354, supporting Prince Shaykhu, he was one of the principal agents in the re-election of Sultan Hassan, and after Shaykhu's assassination he became the amir kabir or "great prince".

He was virtual ruler of Egypt for Hassan, who in 1358 had Sarghatmish thrown into prison and put to death. He was buried under the dome of his madrassa. The Sarghatmish madrassa is a good example of the type founded in the mid-14th century by Mamluk emirs in support of higher Quranic studies, prophetic traditions and jurisprudence.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

News: 'Cairo Pass' Available For Foreigners to Visit all Archaeological Sites in Cairo And Giza

Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities is now issuing visitor’s passes for foreigners to visit all archaeological sites and museums in Cairo and Giza Governorates. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The “Cairo Pass” costs $80 for foreign tourists and $40 for foreign students, and provides access to Islamic, Ancient Egyptian and Coptic sites for unlimited visits over a five-day period, according member of the Technical Office of the Assistant Minister of Antiquities Mostafa Elsagheer.

Elsagheer says the move comes as part of the ministry’s efforts to promote archaeological sites and increase its financial resources.

The pass can be obtained at the Cultural Relations Department at the ministry headquarters in Zamalek, as well as at ticket outlets at the Giza Plateau, the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir and the Citadel of Salah El-Din.

Assistant of the Minister of Antiquities for the Development of Financial Resources Eman Zeidan explains that foreigners can obtain the pass by showing their passport or a student card with picture ID.

Last year, the ministry issued the “Luxor Pass” under two categories.

The first – which costs $200 for tourists and $100 for students – includes all sites and museums in Luxor including the royal tombs of Queen Nefertari and King Seti I.

The second category is half the price and includes all sites excluding the aforementioned royal tombs.

The Annual Visitors Pass, meanwhile, includes all open archaeological sites and museums across Egypt, with several options available. The first is for foreign diplomats and foreigners who work in international and multinational companies in Egypt. The annual pass costs $240 excluding the tombs of Queen Nefertari and King Seti I, and $340 including the two royal tombs.

The annual pass for Egyptians and Arab residents in Egypt to visit all the country’s sites and museums costs EGP 400, or EGP 100 for university students. School trips and Egyptians over 60 are allowed free entry.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

News, Cairo: AUC Hands Over Egyptian Artifacts From 1964 Excavation in Fustat

The American University in Cairo transferred the 5,000 items to the Ministry of Antiquities, in line with Egyptian law. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The American University in Cairo (AUC) has handed 5,000 historical artifacts over to the Ministry of Antiquities, parting with a collection it has held since the 1960s. The collection consists of a number of clay vessels of different shapes and sizes, ushabti figurines, tombstones and wooden funerary masks from the Graeco-Roman era, as well as lamps from the Islamic period.

Mahmoud Afifi, head of the Ancient Egyptian Department, told Ahram Online that the artifacts were unearthed by an AUC excavation team led by late Professor George Scanlon in 1964 at Establ Antar archaeological site in Fustat, Cairo. According to the Egyptian antiquities law during that time, said Afifi, any artifacts unearthed at archaeological sites could be divided with foreign missions. Accordingly, the AUC succeeded in keeping half of the excavated items.

Then in 1983, with the passing of the Egypt Antiquities Law (No. 117), the objects were registered as the property of the Egyptian state, but in the possession of the AUC. Mahmoud Khalil, Director General of the Antiquities Possession Department, said the AUC recently sent an official letter to the ministry asking for the artifacts to be returned to the state.

Khalil went on to say that the ministry immediately assigned an archaeological committee to inspect the collection, pack the items and transport them to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat. The ministery has stated that anyone in possession of Egyptian antiquities should follow the lead of the AUC in handing them over, "since they are part of Egypt's heritage, to be enjoyed by all humanity."

New discovery, Sakkara: Hawass Announces New Archaeological Discovery in Saqarra

The Egyptian Mission working in the Saqqara antiquities area next to the pyramid of King Teti, the first king of the Sixth Dynasty of the ...