Umm al-Sultan Sha'ban Mosque and Madrasa Restoration
Cairo, Egypt
Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme
In spite of its inscription as a World Heritage Site in 1979, Historic Cairo was not given enough attention and individual buildings were suffering neglect, serious deteriorations and lack of maintenance. During the early phases of the design of Azhar Park, new light was projected on the adjacent neighbourhood of Darb al-Ahmar, as the Park hills provide views of a number of magnificent heritage edifices. With its medieval structures, with the domes and minarets amid the dense urban fabric, the Darb al-Ahmar district invites visitors of the Park to come and explore the jewels of Islamic art and architecture.

The conservation projects of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) in Darb al-Ahmar started with two minarets in the vicinity of Azhar Park, that of Umm al-Sultan Shaaban Mosque (1368–69) and that of Khayrbek Mosque (1502–20). Both minarets had lost their upper parts as a result of the devastating 1884 earthquake. Collapses and reconstructions of minarets were not unknown to the history of Cairo. Despite attempts to reconstruct them in 1941, the minarets of Umm al-Sultan Shaaban and of Khayrbek mosques waited until 2003 to recover their integrity, when AKTC, on the basis of historic documentation, started with the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt not only to restore them to their original shape but also to restore and revive the skills and the craftsmanship of artisans whose crafts were, and still are, in danger of being lost.

Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture

See also: Umm al-Sultan Sha'ban Mosque and Madrasa.
Location
Shari' Bab al-Wazir, Cairo, Egypt
Images & Videos
Documents
Associated Names
Part of Site
Associated Collections
Events
1368-69/770 AH, restored 2000s/1420s AH
Style Periods
Mamluk
1250-1517
Variant Names
Umm al-Sultan Sha'ban Mosque and Madrasa Restoration
Building Usages
mausoleum
funerary
mosque
religious
madrasa
educational
Keywords
Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme
area development
restoration and conservation
urban regeneration
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