Qusur al-Harem
Cairo, Egypt
Built under Muhammad 'Ali, the palaces of the harem are located within the northern enclosure of the Citadel, reserved for military and administrative structures after the Mamluks. The complex is composed of three separate buildings: the earliest was the Middle Palace, followed by the Eastern Palace, often called the Palace of the Orphans or Qasr al-Aytam, and finally the Western Palace.

Each palace has three floors, the first two levels having a four-iwan qa'a, or reception hall, with rooms arranged around courtyards or along corridors.

The luxurious ornamental program consists of Ottoman painted floral ornament and marble revetment and architectural elements.


Rabbat, Nasser O. 1989. "The Citadel of Cairo." (Geneva: Aga Khan Award for Architecture)
Al-Qal'ah, Cairo, Egypt
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Associated Names
Part of Site
1827/1243 AH
Variant Names
al-Harem Palaces
Qusur al-Harim
Building Usages