A foundation inscription located above the door identifies Madrasa al-Dawadariyya and dates it to late 1295. Its founder, Amir Alam al-Din Sanjar al-Dawadari (b. 1230-31), possessed wide administrative powers in the Mamluk Syrian territories and died in 1300 in a battle against the Mongols.
The building is set within the urban fabric with most of its north and east walls shared with neighboring buildings and its south wall integrated into the Haram portico. The vaulting over the street obscures the plain west elevation, which contains the entrance portal. The portal recess is three meters wide and two meters deep with stone benches flanking the doorway. It is covered with twin vaults resting on three tiers of muqarnas squinches and on twin trefoil arches built into the portal arch. Red and white ablaq masonry adorns the portal screen, which is topped with a pointed arch featuring joggled red and white voussoirs. The foundation inscription runs above the door on all three sides of the recess.
Inside, the madrasa is centered on a large rectangular courtyard surrounded by vaulted cells to the north, east and west, with an upper story of halls added at a later date. The lower cells are entered through doorways with pointed arches from the courtyard. A large classroom topped by three cross-vaulted halls of equal size dominates the south side of the courtyard. A small antechamber at the northeast corner contains the stairs leading up to the roof, also giving access to annexes located to its east and north. The smaller eastern annex is irregular in plan and is cross-vaulted. The north annex, which extends along the adjoining Madrasa al-Sallamiyya, is composed of a long, barrel-vaulted hall preceded by a courtyard.
The classroom is the main space of the first floor; its courtyard façade is distinguished with symmetrical arched niches for its door and two windows, which are framed with ablaq masonry. The central niche for the doorway is adorned with a decorative disc in its tympanum. Inside, the hall is divided into three vaulted bays with two transverse arches.
The madrasa is currently used by a school known as Madrasa al-Bakriyya.
Burgoyne, Michael. Mamluk Jerusalem: An Architectural Study, 154-166. London: The British School of Archeology in Jerusalem Press, 1987.
Najm, Yusuf. Kunuz al-Quds, 155-157. Milano: Sagdos, 1983.