Citadel, Cairo


Cairo – The Citadel
1920s
Publishers: Lehnert & Landrock, Cairo

Postcards of mosque

In 1171, Salah al-Din, a hero of the crusades who had become sultan of Syria and Egypt, had the Fatimid enclosure and its doors restored. He decided to unify into one enclosure the economic centre, Fustat, and the political centre, Al-Qahira. This was achieved by building a citadel on an artificial outcrop of one of the foothills of the Muqattam rocky plateau. The citadel was built to house garrisons and their leaders. Salah al-Din put one of his lieutenants, Bahaa al-Din Qaraqush, in charge of the construction. It was only completed in 1207, during the reign of Al-Kamil. The first residential structures are also attributed to him and he was the first to occupy it as a royal residence. The building then became the seat of government until the end of the Ottoman era, when it was transferred to the Abdīn Palace. Several additions were made to the structure during the Ayyubid era.
[continues with description of building]
Qantara

The Citadel of Cairo or Citadel of Saladin is a medieval Islamic-era fortification in Cairo, Egypt, built by Salah ad-Din (Saladin) and further developed by subsequent Egyptian rulers. It was the seat of government in Egypt and the residence of its rulers for nearly 700 years from the 13th to the 19th centuries. Its location on a promontory of the Mokattam hills near the center of Cairo commands a strategic position overlooking the city and dominating its skyline. At the time of its construction, it was among the most impressive and ambitious military fortification projects of its time. It is now a preserved historic site, including mosques and museums. In addition to the initial Ayyubid-era construction begun by Saladin in 1176, the Citadel underwent major development during the Mamluk Sultanate that followed, culminating with the construction projects of Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad in the 14th century. In the first half of the 19th century Muhammad Ali Pasha demolished many of the older buildings and built new palaces and monuments all across the site, giving it much of its present form. In the 20th century it was used as a military garrison by the British occupation and then by the Egyptian army until being opened to the public in 1983.
Wikipedia

We walked along the battlements, in the footsteps of bowman who had once manned these 12th-century walls, passing through towers and vaulted halls. We descended through a maze of stairways leading into a labyrinth of narrow galleries with the walls, past arrow slits a few inches wide, set at precise angles to give defending archers greater protection. . . . To Caireness, this is Qal’at al-Jabal, the Fortress on the Mountain, or just al-Qal;ah, the Fortress. The world knows it as the Citadel. Structurally, little has changed since the days of that hero of medieval legend, Saladin (Salah al-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub), who ordered it built. After more than eight centuries of sun, wind and desert storms, the massive towers and walls are as strong as the day they were completed.
Fortress on the Mountains on Archnet

“The Citadel of Cairo” on Archnet (booklet)

Read moreCitadel, Cairo

Egyptian Museum, Cairo


CAIRE Le Musée

Publisher: Cairo Postcard Trust

Google Street View.

The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, known commonly as the Egyptian Museum or Museum of Cairo, in Cairo, Egypt, is home to an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities. It has 120,000 items, with a representative amount on display, the remainder in storerooms. Built in 1901 by the Italian construction company Garozzo-Zaffarani to a design by the French architect Marcel Dourgnon, the edifice is one of the largest museums in the region.
….
The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities contains many important pieces of ancient Egyptian history. It houses the world’s largest collection of Pharaonic antiquities. The Egyptian government established the museum built in 1835 near the Ezbekeyah Garden and later moved to the Cairo Citadel. In 1855, Archduke Maximilian of Austria was given all of the artifacts by the Egyptian government; these are now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

A new museum was established at Boulaq in 1858 in a former warehouse, following the foundation of the new Antiquities Department under the direction of Auguste Mariette. The building lay on the bank of the Nile River, and in 1878 it suffered significant damage in a flood of the Nile River. In 1891, the collections were moved to a former royal palace, in the Giza district of Cairo. They remained there until 1902 when they were moved, for the last time, to the current museum in Tahrir Square, built by the Italian company of Giuseppe Garozzo and Francesco Zaffrani to a design by the French architect Marcel Dourgnon.
Wikipedia.

The stick used to beat the Egyptian Museum most regularly, though, is visitor experience. In the past, it has been unfavorably compared to a store room, and there is no doubt that it charms and frustrates in equal measure. Visit during the day and dust dances in the shards of light that cascade down from the skylights in the central atrium, casting a heavenly glow upon the wonders below. Display cases are often antiques in themselves, and wandering among them transports visitors back to a time of mustachioed, pith-helmeted adventurers posing for sepia photographs with their finds before packing them up for display. Indeed, peer around certain corners and there are unopened wooden crates that look like they may well have been in situ since the turn of the 20th century, challenging you to imagine what wonders can be found inside and where they came from.
Daily Beast: Will This Be the End of the Legendary Egyptian Museum?

Supreme Council of Antiquities

Photos: Flickr Group

Soliman Pasha Square/Talaat Harb Square, Cairo


CAIRO. — Midan-Soliman Pasha. 

Publisher: Levy Sons & Co. (1895-1919)
Now Talaat Harb Square. Google Maps.

In those days the celebrated café-theatre extended from its present location all the way to the Midan. Then like now, hardly anyone recalled that most of the area southeast of the square was where the garden palace of Mohammed-Ali Tewfik stood. But as buildings cropped up all over the place, the perimeter wall surrounding the garden no longer ensured the prince’s privacy. Thereupon he decided to purchase a large tract of land in Manial al-Rhoda where he erected his new neo-Islamic palace with its unique garden. Acquired by the Egyptian Land Company in 1904-5 the old palace was cleared and the land parceled out and sold in 1921-2 to Café Riche’s Greek owner Michel Politis. Thereon Politis established a garden theatre where Um Kalthum and other rising singers performed for paltry sums.

Fin de siècle tourists knew Midan Soliman Pasha well. To begin with it was home to the Savoy Hotel where titled lords and ladies stayed before it was transformed into British army headquarters during WW-1. Later Swiss hospitality Czar Charles Albert Baehler would pull down the Savoy in 1924-5 replacing it in 1929-30 by two blocks of handsome apartment flats.
Soliaman Pasha Square

Although a remnant of its former ‘Paris on the Nile’ 19th century grace, the Midan Talaat, or Talaat Square, at the street’s intersection with Qasr el-Nil Street is circled with buildings having the strong elegance of French neoclassical architecture from the Soliman Pasha era, and were once the locations of some of Cairo’s most popular and successful shops and services.
Wikipedia: Talaat Harb Street

Procession of the Holy Carpet, Cairo


CAIRO. — Procession of the Holy Carpet.

Publisher: Levy & Neurdein Reunis (1920-1932). image might be earlier.

At the beginning of the century, there were several types of popular ceremonies in Egypt that have disappeared or faded with time. One such ceremony is the procession of “El Mahmal” or “The Holy Carpet.” The yearly celebration involved the Egyptian government manufacturing a new cover for the Holy Kaaba and offering it to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. After the cover is prepared in the factory, a large ceremony takes place in Cairo, where a parade organised by the Egyptian army tours the different districts of the city.

The parade included a caravan of decorated camels carrying the Holy Carpet, as well as many other gifts. After the caravan ends its tour in Cairo, it starts its long trip, guarded by the Egyptian army, across the eastern desert, then on to the Suez Canal and Sinai till it reaches Palestine. From Palestine, it goes directly to Saudi Arabia, crossing its northern borders to the heart of Hijaz, then to Mecca. Normally it reached Mecca before the pilgrimage season, where another ceremony takes place that ends with the covering of the Kaaba with the Holy Carpet.
ahramonline: Egypt 100 years ago: The Ceremony of the Holy Carpet (Mahmal)

Capture of the Holy Carpet
London, Friday.–The “Holy Carpet,” which is annually despatched from Cairo with the pilgrims’ caravan to the Prophet’s tomb at Mecca, has been capture in the Arabian Desert by Bedouins. Six of the guard were killed. The Bedouins demand £600 as ransom for the carpet

Newcastle Morning Herald, 19 June 1899

PILGRIMAGE OF THE HOLY CARPET.
The theft of the Holy Carpet during the Pilgrimage to Mecca is one of the most sensational things that could have happened to those faithful to the Koran, who will regard it as an unexampled calamity. The yearly departure from Cairo to the famous, mosque, where with other coverings it adorns for a time the sacred enclosure, has always been the most imposing sight witnessed in the Egyptian capital. The camel bears a carpet trapped with gold, embroidered with crimson, and bears upon, its back a canopy cantaining it, the latter being of crimson and gold, with gilded ornaments at each corner of its base, and its pyramidal roof. Behind the animal comes another camel, carrying the chief Egyptian standard. This is followed by others, the last ridden by a man bearing the flag which sets forth a line from the Koran. The holy carpet itself is a number of pieces of silk embroidery, periodically manufactured in , Cairo by Jews, so that the loss in. this present instance is not serious from a mere point of commercial value. The yearly departure for Mecca, called the ceremony of the Kisweh, is characterised by the greatest Oriental splendour. The carpet is borne through the streets of Cairo, then taken by rail to Suez, thence to Jeddah and Mecca. It is generally blessed by the Khedive in person, and the sacred camels are always escorted by picked household troops,, who keep back the crowd of donkey boys, street vendors of sherbet, closely veiled women, merchants, beggars, and cripples. Among the crowd English people are allowed to mix with impunity, but after the departure of the carpet it is expected that they shall disperse, To follow it on the pilgrimage is considered an affront, and any European sufficiently venturesome to press forward at subsequent stopping places to catch a glimpse of the article does so at the risk of his life.

Clarence & Richmond Examiner, 27 June 1899

RANSOMING THE “HOLY CARPET.”
The capture by a tribe of marauding Bedouins of the “Holy Carpet,” somewhere between Medina and Mecca, has not unnaturally roused the pious indignation of the whole of the Moslem world. In the fierce conflict that ensued, four Turkish soldiers and three natives of the convoy were killed, the remainder escaping to Mecca. The “Holy Carpet” or Kiswa, consists of a series of-oblong strips of black brocade richly embroidered-in gold and silver with Arabic inscriptions from the Koran. It serves the purpose of beautifying the exterior of the Ka’aba the sacred shrine within the precincts of the Mosque at Mecca. It is renewed and sent every year at the expense of the Sultan from Constantinople via Cairo, where with its escort of Bashi Bazouks, it forms part of the great Egyptian caravan. the most important of tie. many which annually converge towards Mecca. Having done duty for a year, it is cut up in pieces and sold as relics to wealthy pilgrims . Our sketch shows the carpet as it is carried under a canopy. on the back of a camel through the streets of Cairo, during the festival preceding its departure, with two symbolical trophies that each year accompany the pilgrimage from Egypt. These are the Mahamal, a kind of canopy, and a pyramidal construction containing a copy of the Koran. Both are exquisitely embroidered in gold upon green cloth, and are held in superstitious reverence by the multitude. The proceedings are quaintly interesting. The women give their shrill, quaint cry of “Hooloo, hoo loo, hoo-loo” as the carpet passes.

Kalgoorlie Western Argue

Kasr El-Nile Bridge, Cairo


CAIRO – Kasr El-Nile Bridge
Published: Published Lehnert & Landrock, Cairo

Bridge demolished 1931 to make way for current bridge.


CAIRO – Opening of the Great Nile Bridge (Kasr-El-Nile) – LL
Published: Levy Sons & Co, 1895-1919

The bridge opening to left water traffic through.

Read moreKasr El-Nile Bridge, Cairo

Mosque of Sultan Hassan, Cairo


Cairo – Mosque of Sultan Hassan

Published: Lehnert & Landrock, Cairo


Le Caire — Intérieur de la Mosquée Sultan Hassan
Cairo — Interior of the Mosque of Sultan Hassan
Published: Vegnios & Zachos

Google Maps.

Floor plan (Wikipedia Commons)

360 Cities (360o view of interior)

The Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan is a monumental mosque and madrassa located in the historic district of Cairo, Egypt. It was built between 1356 and 1363 during the Bahri Mamluk period, commissioned by Sultan an-Nasir Hasan. The mosque was considered remarkable for its massive size and innovative architectural components, and is still considered one of the most impressive historic monuments in Cairo today.

The mosque’s construction is considered all the more remarkable as it coincided with the devastation wrought by the Black Plague, which struck Cairo repeatedly from the mid-14th century onwards. Its construction began in 1356 CE (757 AH) and work proceeded for three years “without even a single day of idleness”. In fact, work appears to have continued even up to 1363, even after Sultan Hasan’s death, before eventually ceasing. An inscription on the mosque notes the name of amir Muhammad ibn Biylik al-Muhsini as the supervisor of the construction of the mosque. Unusually, his name was placed near Sultan Hasan’s in the inscription, which demonstrates how important the undertaking of the project must have been.
Wikipedia

The Complex of Sultan Hasan was built between 1356 and 1363, and included a madrasa, congregational mosque, and mausoleum. The free-standing complex, which had a monumental domed mausoleum flanked by minarets, only one of which survives, is located in a prominent position below the Citadel, toward which the monumental portal is oriented. The muqarnas-hood portal occupies the entire length of the façade. The height of the exterior walls and the arrangement of the windows give the facades a strongly vertical emphasis.
Archnet

Built between 1356 and 1363 by the Mamluk ruler Sultan Hassan, the scale of the mosque is so colossal that it nearly emptied the vast Mamluk Treasury. Historians believe that the builders of this mosque may have used stone from the pyramids at Giza. Early in construction, some design flaws in the colossal plans became apparent. There was going to be a minaret at each corner, but this was abandoned after the one directly above the entrance collapsed, killing 300 people. Another minaret toppled in 1659, then the weakened dome collapsed. The early history witnessed by the mosque was as unstable as its architecture: Hassan was assassinated in 1391, two years before completion, and the roof was used as an artillery platform during coups against sultans Barquq (1391) and Tumanbey (1517).
Sacred Destinations.

Tombs of Mamluks, Cairo, Egypt


On back:
Tombs of Mamelloucs
Pubilshed by Castro Brothers, Cairo.
c. 1920

As best I can tell, this view seems to be South-west of Cairo Citadel (here), whereas the “City of the Dead” is to the north-east (here). Maybe one day someone who knows something will happen along and sort it out.

The City of the Dead, or Cairo Necropolis, is an Islamic necropolis and cemetery below the Mokattam Hills in southeastern Cairo, Egypt. The people of Cairo, the Cairenes, and most Egyptians, call it el’arafa (trans. ‘the cemetery’). It is a 4 miles (6.4 km) long (north-south) dense grid of tomb and mausoleum structures, where some people live and work amongst the dead.

The Mamluk Sultanate rulers … founded a new graveyard named Sahara, because of its desert environment, outside the city at its north-eastern border. It was also a place for military parades, such as tournaments and investiture ceremonies, as well as for processions, at which sultan and nobles took part during the religious celebrations. Some built their palaces on the main road of the cemetery in order to assist the spectacles.
Wikipedia

Exploring Cairo’s City of the Dead

Who Were the Mamluks?
The Mamluks ruled Egypt and Syria from 1250 until 1517, when their dynasty was extinguished by the Ottomans. But Mamluks had first appeared in the Abbasid caliphate in the ninth century and even after their overthrow by the Ottomans they continued to form an important part of Egyptian Islamic society and existed as an influential group until the 19th century. They destroyed the Crusader kingdoms of Outremer, and saved Syria, Egypt and the holy places of Islam from the Mongols. They made Cairo the dominant city of the Islamic world in the later Middle Ages, and under these apparently unlettered soldier-statesmens’ rule, craftsmanship, architecture and scholarship flourished. Yet the dynasty remains virtually unknown to many in the West. [More.]
History Today


CAIRO, Citadelle and Mamelouk Tombs
Dated & postmarked 1906
Publisher: ? & H, Cairo. The bottom of the letters if cut off but it’s probably Lichtenstern & Harari, especially as this image appears above their name on the link.


CAIRO — General view of Tombs of the Kalifs
c.1910
Publisher: Levy Sons & Co


CAIRO. — Tombs of the Kalifs.
c.1910
Publisher: Levy Sons & Co


CAIRO — Tombs of the Mamelukes
c.1910
Publisher: Levy Sons & Co