Qarafa al-Kubra
Cairo, Egypt
The Qarafa al-Kubra, or Great Cemetery, is located north of the Citadel. During the early reign of the Mamluk Sultan Baybars the area was used for military exercises and equestrian activities, and was known as the Maydan al-Aswad. The area is referred to locally as the "Eastern Cemetery" (Al-Qarafa al-Sharqiyya).

In the Mamluk period, the Qarafa al-Kubra came to acquire numerous mausoleums and funerary complexes. Many of the structures are crowned with the celebrated carved masonry domes of medieval Cairene architecture. The complexes which were developed around mausoleums could include religious foundations like khanqas, residential complexes like rab', mosques, and madrasas.


Badawi, Cherine. 2004. Footprint Egypt. Bath: Footprint, 111.

Jarrar, Sabri, András Riedlmayer, and Jeffrey B. Spurr. 1994. Resources for the Study of Islamic Architecture. Cambridge, MA: Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture.

Rabbat, Nasser. 1995. The Citadel of Cairo: A New Interpretation of Royal Mamluk Architecture. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 105.
Cairo, Egypt
Images & Videos
Associated Names
Site Contains
Style Periods
Variant Names
Qarafa al-Kubra
Great Cemetery
Northern Cemetery
Alternate transliteration
Eastern Cemetery
al-Qarafa al-Sharqiyya
Building Usages