On the back:
LE CAIRE. — Mosquée Sanghar-el-Gaouli. –Mosque Sanghar-el-Gaouli.–LL
Publisher: Levy Sons & Co. (1895-1919)
The complex of Amir Salar and Amir Sanjar al-Jawili was built in 1303-4 by Amir Sanjar al-Jawili, a powerful amir during the reign of al-Nasir Muhammad. It was intended to house, in addition to his madrasa, a mausoleum for himself and one for his longtime friend Amir Salar. The two contiguous burial chambers are each covered by a ribbed, pointed brick dome. As a token of love and respect, Sanjar distinguished the mausoleum of his companion with a larger dome and more decoration.
The adjoining religious foundation, which consists of a rectangular, single-iwan courtyard surrounded on the other sides by cells, most likely served as a khanqah whose curriculum included courses in theology and Shafi’i law. The large iwan is faced by a minute iwan across the courtyard. The vestibule behind the two mausolea is covered by possibly the earliest example of a stone dome in Cairo.
The Mausoleum-Khanqah of Salar and Sangar El-Gawli lies next to Qalat El-Kabsh. It was founded by the Mamluk Karasonkor El-Mansouri. It includes the tomb of the Emir Seif El-Deen Salar who played a great role at the beginning of the 14th Century that was a period turmoil. He was was imprisoned where died out of starvation in 1310. The second cenotaph that appear in the mausoleum belonga to Emir Alam El-Din Sangar El-Gawli who was the Governor of Gaza and Hama for along time and who died in 1344/745. The façade of this monument is regarded as a unique one in comparison to the other façades in Cairo, due to its several distinguishing features. There are also the adjoining domes with graceful Syrian style. The mosque consists of a nave and the Qibla aisle that gives access to a corridor. On the right side of this corridor, there are two mausoleums: The mausoleum of Emir Sayf Al-Din Salar, and mausoleum of Emir Alam Al-Din Sangar Al-Gawli. The Minaret, placed right the main entrance, consists of three stories. The first is squared in shape, with decorations on its four sides, and windows of various forms. The second storey is octagonal, while the third storey is cylindrical with eight openings.
Sabil (Water Dispensary) and Kuttab (Qur’anic School) of ‘Abd al-Rahman Katkhuda
This monument has a special artistic importance, for it is a free-standing complex that consists of a sabil (water dispensary) and a kuttab (Qur’an school) both of which display many of the glories of Islamic art specific to the Ottoman period. The building represents the style of sabil that has three windows and which is a blend of the Mamluk and Ottoman styles. The sabil has three facades (south, north and west) that are identical and equal in length. Each façade contains a semi-circular arch, which is supported by two spiral marble pillars. In the middle of the arch is a large opening from which cups of water may be obtained for passers-by (windows for the procurement of water or tasbil).
Museum With No Frontiers: Discover Islamic Art
The Sabil-Kuttab of ‘Abd al Rahman Katkhuda of 1744 was named for its patron, a Mamluk amir and leader of the Egyptian Janissaries. The two-story square structure consists of the fountain within the block of the first level, which is surmounted by space for the school in the form of a two-tiered arcaded pavilion.
Sabil-Kuttab of Abd al-Rahman Katkhuda is a historic monument in the historic district of Cairo, Egypt. It comprises a public fountain or sabil, an elementary Quran school or kuttab, and an adjacent residential wing. A prime example of Egyptian architecture of its time, it was commissioned in 1744 by Abd al-Rahman Katkhuda, a local official who was a prominent patron of architecture. . . . Built in 1744 CE, it is named for its patron, a Mamluk amir (prince) and leader of the Egyptian Janissaries, who died in 1776. He did much work in Cairo including developments to Al-Azhar University and mosque. He also rebuilt the dome of the Qala’un Mosque after an earthquake in Egypt. Sabils and kuttabs were almost everywhere in old Islamic Cairo during Mamluk and Ottoman times. Sabils are facilities providing free, fresh water for thirsty people who are passing by. Kuttabs are primitive kinds of elementary schools that teach children to read and write. The Sabil-Kuttab was built using the Mamluk Egyptian style which continued to overwhelm all the styles of such buildings even after the Ottoman conquest in 1517. The architecture of this time was so delicate that even simple facilities like sabils were designed to be pieces of art.
ASSOUAN, General View
Pubished: Lichtenstern & Harari, Cairo (1902-1912)
Elephantine is an island on the Nile, forming part of the city of Aswan in Upper Egypt. . . . Known to the ancient Egyptians as ꜣbw (Elephant), the island of Elephantine stood at the border between Egypt and Nubia. It was an excellent defensive site for a city and its location made it a natural cargo transfer point for river trade. This border is near the Tropic of Cancer, the most northerly latitude at which the sun can appear directly overhead at noon and from which it appears to reverse direction or “turn back” at the solstices. . . . According to ancient Egyptian religion, Elephantine was the dwelling place of Khnum, the ram-headed god of the cataracts, who guarded and controlled the waters of the Nile from caves beneath the island. He was worshipped here as part of a late triad of Egyptian deities. . . . Most of the present day southern tip of the island is taken up by the ruins of the Temple of Khnum. These, the oldest ruins still standing on the island, are composed of a granite step pyramid from the Third Dynasty and a small temple built for the local Sixth Dynasty nomarch, Heqaib. In the Middle Kingdom, many officials, such as the local governors Sarenput I or Heqaib III, dedicated statues and shrines into the temple.
The island of Elephantine rises out of the waters in the middle of the river. It has always been an object of wonder for travelers, and a certain Henry Light, sailing up the Nile from Cairo in 1814, described it as ”a scene composed of water, rocks, and buildings, which latter had the additional effect of being formed of cupolas, minarets, mosques, and ruins, interspersed amongst plantations of lofty palm-trees, and surrounded by mountains of deep red or sandy hue, on the tops and sides of which were other ruins of convents, churches and mosques.” Much of this scene remains. Elephantine still emerges from the water like a hallucination, upon it the now sparse ruins of the ancient city of Abu that once housed the frontier fortress of Egypt.
New York Time Magazine: Afloat on the Ancient Nile (2 October 1988)
CAIRO.– Near City Gate
LE CAIRE.– Un coin de la Ville Arabe.
Publisher: Levy Sons & Co. (1895-1919)
Bab Zuweila is one of three remaining gates in the walls of the Old City of Cairo, the capital of Egypt. It was also known as Bawabbat al-Mitwali during the Ottoman period, and is sometimes spelled Bab Zuwayla. It is considered one of the major landmarks of the city and is the last remaining southern gate from the walls of Fatimid Cairo in the 11th and 12th century. Its name comes from Bab, meaning “gate”, and Zuwayla, the name of an ethnic group recruited into the Fatimid army from the town of Zuwayla in the Fezzan.
The city of Cairo was founded in 969 as the royal city of the Fatimid dynasty. In 1092, the vizier Badr al-Jamali had a second wall built around Cairo. Bab Zuweila was the southern gate in this wall. It has twin towers (minarets) which can be accessed via a steep climb. In earlier times they were used to scout for enemy troops in the surrounding countryside, and in modern times, they are hailed for providing one of the best views of Old Cairo. The structure also has a famous platform. Executions would sometimes take place there, and it was also from this location that the Sultan would stand to watch the beginning of the hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Sometimes the severed heads of criminals would be displayed along the tops of the walls. This was done as recently as 1811, when the severed heads of Mamluks from the Citadel massacre were mounted on spikes here. The corresponding gate on the northern side of the city was the Bab al-Futuh, which still stands on the northern side of the Muizz street.
Bab Zuwayla functioned as the southern entrance to the original Fatimid settlement from A.D. 969 (when ‘al-Qahirah’ or ‘Cairo’ was founded), and was reconstructed in stone in the late eleventh century A.D. by Badr al-Gamali, the de facto ruler of Egypt. During restoration work by ARCE it was discovered that the two massive doors of the Bab Zuwayla, each weighing almost 4 tons, moved on ball bearings, which were initially placed on display in the monument following the completion of the project. Colloquially, the gate is also known as Bab al-Mitwalli after a popular Sufi saint who is associated with the location.
American Research Centre in Egypt
An Armenian himself, al-Jamali is reported to have employed Armenians from northern Mesopotamia as well as Syrians in a vast building campaign which he embarked on shortly after he assumed power. This work marks the beginning of a newly cultivated taste for stone in Cairo. The Byzantine and north Syrian stone details and techniques demonstrate the most direct encounter between neighboring regional building traditions, manifested in the importation of architects and possibly of manpower.
(left) Mosque of Sultan Hassan
(centre) Al-Rifa’i Mosque
Al-Mahmoudia Mosque or the Mosque of Mahmud Pasha is a historic mosque in the city of Cairo, Egypt. . . . The mosque dates back to the Ottoman era in 1567 during the administration of Mahmud Pasha who is buried in the mosque. The name of the mosque is derived from him.The mosque is attached with the mausoleum of Mahmud Pasha which is accessible through the door on the mihrab wall. Mahmud Pasha was shot dead near the mosque after being accused of oppressing the Egyptian people.
The design of the mosque is unique in its architectural style which follows the Mamluk tradition for the main building and partly based on the Ottoman architecture for the minaret in particular. The minaret is decorated with a ring with muqarnas and a cone shaped obelisk on top. It is noted to be smaller than the other mosques in the same area, and it is partly due to the building was built on top of the pile of stones, and it is required to climb up stairs to the mosque. The mosque has four sides, and two of them have entrance gate on it. The gates are ornamented with two lines of windows filled with plasters and maroon glass works, with muqarnas on top of them facing toward the balconies.
The mosque built by Mahmud Pasha in 1567 is an early Cairene Ottoman official religious architecture which follows the Mamluk tradition. The positioning of the domed burial chamber behind the prayer hall to face the Citadel and the construction of the minaret on a semicircular buttress protruding from a corner next to the mausoleum show that it used the nearby Madrasa of Sultan Hasan as its model. The minaret, however, is Ottoman.
These three postcards are photographs taken of existing photographs and then printed as postcards. They have no publisher details. Given the bare surroundings, I assume the original photos were taken when Heliopolis was being developed (1910s).
Heliopolis was a suburb outside Cairo, Egypt, which has since merged with Cairo as a district of the city and is one of the more affluent areas of Cairo. It was established in 1905 by the Heliopolis Oasis Company headed by the Belgian industrialist Édouard Empain and by Boghos Nubar, son of the Egyptian Prime Minister Nubar Pasha.
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In 1905, Empain established the Cairo Electric Railways and Heliopolis Oases Company, which bought a large stretch of desert some distance to the northeast of Cairo at a low price from the British occupation government. His efforts culminated in 1907 with the building of the new town of Heliopolis, in the Sahara desert ten kilometers from the center of Cairo. The new city represented the first large-scale attempt to promote its own architecture, known now as the Heliopolis style. It was designed as a “city of luxury and leisure”, with broad avenues and equipped with all conveniences and infrastructure: water, drains, electricity, hotel facilities, such as the Heliopolis Palace Hotel and Heliopolis House, and recreational amenities including a golf course, racetrack and park. In addition, there was housing for rent, offered in a range of innovative designs targeting specific social classes with detached and terraced villas, apartment buildings, tenement blocks with balcony access and workers’ bungalows.
Sultana Melek Palace
Belgian engineer Baron Empain built the palace as a gift to Sultan Hussein Kamel. Following Kamel’s death, the palace’s ownership transferred to the Heliopolis Company for Housing & Development which leased it to Hussein’s second wife Sultana Melek Tourhan. The palace then became a school during the 1960s, and was later recorded on the list of Islamic and Coptic Antiquities in 2000.
Egypt Independent: Egypt begins restoring Sultana Melek Palace in Heliopolis
Sultan Hussein Kamel’s palace in Heliopolis dates back to the year 1908. Sultan Hussein Kamel took power in a dangerous period in the history of Egypt between 1914 and 1917, when Britain had imposed martial law on Egypt during the First World War. The palace, located opposite to Baron Empain’s palace, was built before Hussein Kamel assumed power. It was then gifted to Sultana Malak, his second wife of Circassian origin, whom he married in 1886.
The palace of Sultan Hussein Kamel is among the first buildings of Heliopolis. It was designed by French architect Alexander Marcel in 1908 and was implemented with clear Moroccan influences to revive Islamic architecture.
Lady of Heliopolis Co-Cathedral
Our Lady of Heliopolis Co-Cathedral, also known as the Latin Cathedral of Our Lady of Heliopolis, or the Basilica of the Holy Virgin, is a Roman Catholic church building, located on Al-Ahram Square in the Heliopolis neighbourhood of Cairo, Egypt. Alexandre Marcel designed the cathedral in a Byzantine Revival style, based on the Hagia Sophia. It was completed in 1913. A crypt within the cathedral houses the remains of its financer, Édouard Empain, and his family.
Heliopolis Palace Hotel
The Heliopolis Palace Hotel was built in the open desert from 1908–1910, while development of the new suburb began around it, by the Heliopolis Oases Company. It was opened as Africa’s most luxurious hotel on December 1, 1910. The landmark hotel was designed by Belgian architect Ernest Jaspar. He introduced the local Heliopolis style of architecture, a synthesis of Persian, Moorish Revival, Islamic, and European Neoclassical architecture. It was built by the contracting firms Leon Rolin & Co. and Padova, Dentamaro & Ferro, the two largest civil contractors in Egypt then. Siemens & Schuepert of Berlin fitted the hotel’s web of electric cables and installations. The utilities were to the most modern standards of their day. The hotel operations were under French administered management. The Heliopolis architectural style, responsible for many wonderful original buildings in Heliopolis, was exceptionally expressed in the Heliopolis Palace Hotel’s exterior and interior design. The hotel had 400 rooms, including 55 private apartments. Beyond the Moorish Revival reception hall two public rooms were lavishly decorated in the Louis XIV and the Louis XV styles. Beyond those was the Central Hall, the primary public dining space with a classic symmetrical and elegant beauty.
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In 1958, the hotel was purchased by the government and closed to guests. It was then used to house the offices of government departments. In January 1972, the building became the headquarters of the Federation of Arab Republics, the short-lived political union between Egypt, Libya and Syria, which gave it the current Arabic name of قصر الاتحادية Kasr Al Ittihadia (“Federation Palace”). In the 1980s, after extensive renovation and restoration efforts, the building became an Egyptian presidential palace and the headquarters of the administration of the new president, Hosni Mubarak.
The First Australian General Hospital was to be placed in the Heliopolis Palace Hotel at Heliopolis. . . . Some description is required, however, of the Heliopolis Palace Hotel. This, as the photograph shows, is a huge hotel de luxe, consisting of a basement and four stories. It was arranged that the kitchens, stores, and accommodation for rank and file should be placed in the basement. The first floor was allotted to offices and officers’ quarters; a wing of the third floor provided accommodation for nurses, and the only portions of the building used at first for patients were the large restaurant and dining-room, and the billiard recesses, i.e. the Rotundas and Great Hall.
The Australian Army Medical Corps in Egypt, 1918 (Project Gutenberg) (includes floor plan)
It isn’t clear if the current hotel building opened in the 1860s or 1880s. We know that in the 1860s there was a grand hotel at this location that competed with the famous and now gone Shepheard’s Hotel on the same street. The hotel housed some of Khedive Ismail’s guests during their visit to Cairo for the festivities surrounding the opening of the Suez Canal. The hotel underwent multiple renovations in the 1880s, 1890s and 1900s. Some older pictures show the hotel having a more elaborate facade with columns carrying an over-sized pediment. The owners of Grand Continental built another hotel on Soliman Pasha Square (today Talaat Harb) which was the Savoy and together the two hotels were known as the Continental-Savoy Hotels. During WWI the British military overtook the Savoy Hotel as their headquarters and it never re-opened. The property was purchased by Behlar who destroyed the building and replaced it with the current structure overlooking Talaat Harb Square today known as the Behlar Building (with the Parisian roof). The current Grand Continental building has a simple, if modern, facade of four very tall levels. The front of the building is now covered with a row of shops selling men’s suits and tailoring fabrics. Behind those shops the original building is an H-shaped structure with a central court. It appears that the structure is combination masonry with timber floors and ceilings.
Through the first half of the 20th century the Continental-Savoy (known as the Grand Continental before 1924) on Opera Square was the great rival to Shepheard’s, just up the street. Like Shepheard’s it had a busy street-front terrace, hosted fabulous balls and dances, and attracted its fair show of famous guests. TE Lawrence lodged here when he first arrived in Cairo in December 1914, Lord Carnarvon succumbed to the malady brought on by an insect bite in Luxor in one of the Continental-Savoy’s suites in 1923, while in 1941 Major Orde Wingate attempted suicide in his bedroom by stabbing himself in the neck, twice, but survived. While Shepheard’s was burned down in the rioting of January 1952, the Continental-Savoy survived unscathed. Instead, it suffered a slow, painful decline into decrepitude eventually becoming so rundown that it had to stop accepting guests altogether by the early 1980s. Since then this massive, four-storey, 300-plus room hotel has stood largely empty.
Egypt in the Golden Age of Travel
While the Egyptian government has been keen to stress its alleged efforts to restore Downtown Cairo’s old splendor by renovating (the facades of) decaying buildings, the preservation of some of the city’s richest architectural gems nonetheless seems to be of low priority. This became apparent a year after authorities announced plans to demolish one of the most historic hotels in Egypt when workers on Tuesday January 28 began tearing it down. Overlooking Downtown Cairo’s Opera Square and the Azbakiya Gardens, the Grand Continental Hotel (also known as the Continental-Savoy) was built in the 1860s (some claim the 1880s) as part of the country’s modernization projects that included the building of the Suez Canal. The demolition plans were first announced in August 2016 by the Egyptian General Company for Tourism and Hotels (EGOTH), the hotel owners. Mamduh Rutab, the company’s deputy chairman, told Gulf News at the time that it is a “threatening humanitarian disaster until we demolish it”.
“The Grand Continental: Egypt’s Historic Hotel Turns into Dust”