Sabil al-Amir Shaykhu
Cairo, Egypt
This sabil and hawd, built by Shaykhu while he was the cup bearer to Sultan Hasan, stands near his more famous mosque and khanqah. It is the earliest freestanding fountain in Cairo, and is a very unusual structure. The sabil room is cut directly into the bedrock, apparently making use of a cave with a natural spring, rather than being built over an underground cistern as in most sabils. A stone semi-dome sits above the rock, also unique to this structure.

An inscription band runs along the base of the semi-dome, along with two carved blazons of the amir; the left hand-hand half has been destroyed by erosion of the stone and by surface salts. Five pointed-arch recesses are in the dome itself. A city gate once blocked the view of the sabil, but it was demolished by the Comité de Conservation des Monuments de l’Art Arabe.


Dobrowolski, Jarosław. The living stones of Cairo, 28. Cairo: Am Univ Cairo Pr, UA, 2001.

Seton-Williams, M. J., and Peter Stocks. Egypt, 303. London: A & C Black, 1988.

Warner, Nicholas. The monuments of historic Cairo: a map and descriptive catalogue, 114. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2005.

Shari' Bab al-Wada', Cairo, Egypt
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Associated Names
1354/755 AH
Style Periods
Variant Names
Sabil al-Amir Shaykhu
Amir Shaykhu Sabil
Sabil al-Amir Shaykhu al-'Umari
Sabil of Amir Shaykhu al-'Imari
Emir Shaykhu al-Umari Sabil