Beit Zeinab Khatoun HQ for Cairo Urban Rehabilitation Project

Nevine El-Aref , Thursday 16 Jun 2011

The 14th century house of Zeinab Khatoun in Old Cairo is set to become the headquarters for the Cairo Urban Rehabilitation Project

the hosuse of Zeinab khatoun

In cooperation with UNESCO, the Ministry of State for Antiquities (MSA) is to transform the Zeinab Khatoun house into the headquarters for the Cairo Urban Rehabilitation Project.

Mohamed El-Sheika, head of the project department at MSA, told Ahram Online that the project aims to draw an archaeological map for Old Cairo, and provide the means to rehabilitate modern homes to make them harmonious with the area's archaeology.

The house is one of the most remarkable Mameluke houses, and was named after its last owner. It occupies a distinguished location behind Al-Azhar mosque in Atfet El-Azhary (Azhary alley) in Darb Al-Ahmar district, once the finest and wealthiest neighborhood in Islamic Cairo. Across from it is Al-Ayni Mosque and, at a nearby distance, two other important houses, Beit El-Harrawi and Beit Al-Sitt Wasila.

It is difficult to pin down the exact date in which this house was built, but from the architectural style and decorations it is believed to have been built during the reign of Memeluke Sultan Qaitbay at the end of the 14th Century. It was restored during the 18th century, a restoration that gave it an Ottoman style.

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