Islamic Monuments in Cairo: The Practical Guide by Caroline Williams

By Caroline Williams

Cairo's Islamic monuments are a part of an uninterrupted culture that spans over one thousand years of establishing job. No different Islamic urban can equivalent Cairo's miraculous historical past, nor hint its old and architectural improvement with such readability. the invention of this ancient middle, first visually through nineteenth-century western artists then intellectually by means of twentieth-century Islamic artwork experts, now - on the flip of the millennium - awaits the pride of the final visitor.
This re-creation of a favored and convenient consultant maintains to stroll the customer round 200 of the city's best Islamic monuments. It additionally retains velocity with contemporary advancements with up-to-date and revised fabric.

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Cursive scripts: Originally developed for chancery and manuscript purposes, these scripts were adapted for inscriptions in the 12th century. Naskhi tended to have letters with curves deep and full that fall below the medial line. Thuluth means 'a third' and indicates the proportion of the horizontal letters to the vertical ones. When used on monuments this script has a 'stacked' appearance, since horizontal letters or short words are placed in the open areas framed by the verticals. Nastaliq: This script originating in 15th-century Persia combines a fluency of flow with an extreme simplification of letters.

Fatimid mosques are almost uniformly rectangular, but later, Burgi Mamluk buildings within the town are almost as uniformly irregular in ground plan, although considerable thought and effort was often given to making the building look regular in shape. The search for rectangularity, even on irregular lots, became something of an obsession. The result was a number of jewel-like pieces, such as the beautifully restored Mosque of Qijmas al-Ishaqi near Bab Zuwayla, which is built on an irregular wedge of ground but still appears rectangular to the casual observer on the outside.

If we liken the congregational mosque to a cathedral, then we can extend the parallel and compare smaller mosques to parish churches and chapels. Many of these follow the general plan of a courtyard surrounded by arcades, but some are simply rooms with a niche at one end marking the direction of Mecca. Some are very elaborate and some have special functions, such as the 'Umar Makram Mosque just off Tahrir Square, which is the preferred site for the funerary receptions of state officials. The Madrasa.

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