Iwan al-Kabir
Cairo, Egypt
The Great Iwan, or Iwan al-Kabir, was located in the southern section of the Citadel on the site of earlier halls. al-Nasir Muhammad rebuilt the monumental structure twice, in 1315 and 1334.

The plan documented in the 19th century for inclusion in the Description de l'Egypte shows a square hypostyle structure with five parallel aisles and a dome. The building was open to the exterior on three sides through arcades, and the main façade was articulated with a large central arch flanked by two smaller arches on either side.

The Great Iwan was a public and ceremonial space where the Sultan sat enthroned to administer justice, receive ambassadors, and carry out other duties of state.


Rabbat, Nasser O. 1989. Citadel of Cairo (Geneva: AKTC), p. 11-13.

Gillispie, Charles Coulston & Michel Dewachter. 1987. Monuments of Egypt : the Napoleonic edition : the complete archaeological plates from La description de l'Egypte. (Princeton, NJ : Princeton AP & Architectural League of NY, The J. Paul Getty Trust).
Cairo, Egypt
Associated Names
1315/714-15 AH, 1334/734-35 AH
Style Periods
Variant Names
Great Iwan at the Citadel
al-Iwan al-Kabir
Building Usages
public monuments