Turba al-Kilaniyya
Jerusalem
Construction began in 1352 on the Kilaniyya Mausoleum, which was built by the son of Jamal al-Din Pahvalan for his father. Jamal al-Din, also known as the son of Lord Kilan, was the son of Amir Shams al-Adin Quradshah. A splendid example of Jerusalem's Mamluk architecture, the tomb, which is without a foundation inscription, is bound on three sides by pre-existing buildings and by Tariq Bab al-Silsila on its south side. It is located on the north side of the street near the west wall of al-Haram al-Sharif. On its south side and over the street is the Tashtamuriyya arch; it is across the street from the tomb of Barka Khan and his sons. The tomb has undergone multiple remodeling for domestic use and more recently extensive restoration. Some of its finds are located today in the Haram Museum.

The roughly rectangular plan consists of two domed tomb spaces along the street side separated by a domed vestibule entrance zone, which leads to an open courtyard. The courtyard has a few minor spaces that were added at later dates as part of the domestic modification it underwent when turned into a residence. A portal in the northwest corner of the courtyard leads to an earlier barrel vaulted hall, above which is a reception hall. The two northern halls are of pre-existing construction but only the northwestern hall was incorporated into the Mamluk foundation.

The vestibule is topped with a cross-vaulted ceiling that was later added to insert a second floor within the shaft of the vestibule under its dome. The original iron-plated main entrance doors leads to the vestibule, which leads east and west to the tombs. A fourth door on the north side of the vestibule leads directly to the courtyard. The original walls of the courtyard, built of ashlar masonry, had centered pointed arch recesses, some of which have survived and maintain some of their original voussoirs and stone courses.

Like the vestibule, the east and west tomb spaces were subdivided vertically to insert two additional floors. Both east and west tomb spaces have barrel-vaulted crypts below. The square western tomb chamber appears to not have been used for its intended purpose, as there is no evidence of burial in the space. The original space would have been lit by three levels of windows, the grilled windows on street level, additional windows above and eight small windows that pierce the drum of the dome. The eastern tomb chamber would have been identical, but it too was altered heavily.

The street elevation is symmetrical, with the entrance at its center flanked by grilled windows that belong to the two tomb chambers. The portal is topped with a square pediment, and the entire elevation is framed by a thick moulding. Within the niche of the portal is a muqarnas semi-dome. Two smaller windows, one on either side of the centrally placed portal, are centered above their respective tomb windows and are topped by muqarnas heads. Within the central recess of the entrance, above the muqarnas semi-dome, are three small windows looking into the central domed space, with the middle window set into a recess with a muqarnas head.

Sources:
"III. Maintenance and Restoration Work in the Old City (Part 2)," Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, Jerusalem. http://www.passia.org/jerusalem/publications/khaled_khatib_Conservation_Jerusalem/chapter3-2.htm [Accessed November 27, 2005, updated 9/23/2013].

Burgoyne, Michael. Mamluk Jerusalem, 325-336. London: The British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem Press, 1987.
Location
Tariq Bab al-Silsila, Jerusalem
Images & Videos
Associated Names
Events
1352/752 AH
Style Periods
Mamluk
1250-1517
Variant Names
Turba al-Kilaniyya
al-Kilaniyya Mausoleum
Variant
al-Turba al-Kilaniyya
Variant
al-Kilaniyya
Variant
Qubba Jamal al-Din Pahlavan
Variant
Building Usages
tomb
funerary