The attractive Mamluk-era mosque's east wing should be completed by 2020.
The 14th century Amir-al-Maridany Mosque in Darb el-Ahmar district in Cairo, one of the finest monuments of 14th century Cairo is being renovated, according to the Ministry of Antiquities.
The historical mosque has a hypostyle plan (with a roof supported by pillars), with typical Mamluk-style architecture adorning its exterior walls. At the time of its inception in 1339, it was one of Cairo’s most extravagantly decorated mosques, known for its architectural innovations, having the first fully octagonal minaret and large dome.
The building incorporates architectural elements from many different eras; granite columns from the Pharaonic times, arches containing Roman, Christian, and Islamic designs, and a fountain reminiscent of the Ottoman-era.
As the Mamluk-era mosque stands in between a cluster of residential buildings, the Ministry of Antiquities has faced several problems relating to groundwater and sewage, but the mosque’s eastern wing is expected to be completed by 2020.“Islamic antiquities are located in the middle of residential buildings. This is both an advantage and a disadvantage. The advantage is that we have an opportunity to create activities (for residents) where they can benefit from the close proximity to the artefact, from tourism and we can develop crafts in the area,” said Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anany.
“But the drawback is that if these buildings do not have proper infrastructure, especially sewage piping; when sewage comes in contact with an artefact, it is the most dangerous thing that can harm any artefact.” he added.
Cairo has a wealth of historic buildings of architectural interest, and their restoration is well underway following a slowdown in cultural work following the revolution of 2011. The 13th-century Al-Zahir Baybars mosque, the first mosque of the Mamluk-era is also undergoing restoration in a project worth a total of EGP 100 Million.
Main image from mapio.net