Houses in Islamic Architecture in Egypt
Gamal El-Dien Al-Dahabi
Manzil Gamal El-Dien Al-Dahabi
This House "Manzil" was built by "Khawaga" Gamal Al-Din Al-Dahabi in 1637 A.D. / 1047 A.H. in Cairo. The title "Khawaga" was given to chief merchants and important figures of the society. Gamal Al-Din was the chief of the elite gold merchants during the 17th century as is inscribed inside the house on the frame of the loggia ceiling.
In the same year, he constructed a "Wikala" (caravansary). It is located in the same area as the house though the remains are not impressive.
The house is located in "Harat" (alley) Hoshqadam, a very popular area full of interesting Islamic monuments. Found at a near distance is Bab Zewiyla or Bab Al-Mitwali (1092/485), one of the three Fatimid Gates still standing. Also next to the house is Al-Fakahani Mosque, built by the Fatimid Caliph Al-Zahir in 1148.
The structure seen nowadays dates back to 1735 when the Mosque was rebuilt by Ahmad Katkhuda al Kharbutli. Only the wood work remains a witness of the original building.
It is considered to be one of the fine examples of a Mamluk house, offering the typical luxurious characteristics usually found in a private residence.
Manzil Gamal Al-Din remains in its original condition. Due to it's unimpressive outside appearance, it does not attract much attention but once inside, one is surprised by the richness of its interior halls and chambers.
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