Sabil-Kuttab-Wakala of Sultan Qa'it Bay
Cairo, Egypt
This structure is the earlier of the two wikalas built by Sultan Qaytbay in Cairo, dating to 1477/882 AH. (His other surviving wikala, located at Bab al-Nasr, dates to 1480/885 AH). It is one of three remaining from the Burgi Mamluk period and is located in one of the most important commercial districts of old Cairo. The wikala has a stone facade with carved panels and medallions of foliate design and inscription. There is a trilobed entry portal with muqarnas and an inscription band, with fourteen shops located to either side. The ground floor is still inhabited, and originally contained 28 locked storerooms. There were three stairwells leading to 37 living units above, but only the corbels of the original second floor remain. The interior courtyard has vanished under subsequent constructions, with only the northern perimeter still visible.

The sabil-kuttab sits at the western end of the wikala, along with a watering trough for animals. It has a trilobed entry portal and beautiful carved stone details, including an engaged column at the corner of the sabil. The mashrabiya window over the portal is probably not original.

The building has suffered over time, but its decorative panels and lintels can still be appreciated.


Seton-Williams, M. J., and Peter Stocks. Egypt, 264. London: A & C Black, 1988.

Warner, Nicholas. The monuments of historic Cairo: a map and descriptive catalogue, 102. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2005.

Williams, Caroline. Islamic monuments in Cairo : the practical guide, 172-173. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2008.
Shari' al-Tablita, Hayy al-Azhar, Cairo, Egypt
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Associated Names
Site Contains
1477/882 AH
Style Periods
Variant Names
Sabil wa-Kuttab wa-Wakala al-Sultan Qaytbay
Kuttab and Wakala of Sultan Qaytbay
Building Usages