Egypt: Cairo: Islamic Monuments- The Baybars El-Jashankir Khanqa

The Baybars El-Jashankir Khanqa


The Baybars El-Jashankir Khanqa is the oldest Sufi monastery in Cairo, established around 1310 by Baybars el-Jashankir. It was also the first Khanqa built as part of a royal tomb complex. Salah al-Din introduced these structures, along with madrasas, to help combat the Shi'i influence after the Fatimids where ousted. The minaret is unusual for having a revetment of turquoise faience. One enters the complex over a square pharaonic column, with much worn hieroglyphs, through a recessed copper decorated door. Inside and to the left is the tomb where al-Nasir finally allowed Baybar's body to be interred, along with that of a local sheikh named Muhammad Amin al-Husayni (in 1939).


The entrance to the Khanqa is through a traditional bent entrance, typical of military instillations. The Sufis' rooms flank the two liwans, while decorations actually reflect Fatimid motifs.

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