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Bashtak Palace
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The Palace of Amir Bashtak was built by Amir Sayf al-Din Bashtak al-Nasiri, one of the commanders of the Mamluk sultan, al-Nasir Muhammad ibn Qalawun, and the husband of one of his daughters. He was contemporary to al-Nasir Muhammad’s third reign of power (AH 709– 41 / AD 1309– 40). Prince Bashtak tore down several mosques so that he could enlarge his palace. The Preservation of the Arabic Antique Authority discovered a mosque that still exists under the palace. The Amir Bashtak Palace is located on al-Mu'izz li-Din Street, one of the most important main streets in Cairo. Historians mention that the location of the palace was also where part of the Great Eastern Palace of the Fatimids was located, Cairo, Egypt

The palace hall consists of several rooms distinguished by their luxurious ceilings. In its center there is a marvelous marble basin. It is the only palace that still preserves its original features. It gives architectural history researchers ideas about how palaces of that era were planned.

Some parts of the Amir Bashtak Palace that are still preserved stand witness as to the grandeur and beauty that the building once possessed. These parts include the western façade, which overlooks Al-Muizz Street, and the northern facade, which overlooks Darb (alley) Qurmuz. The present entrance to the palace is on the northern facade and is formed of a tri-lobed arch. The original entrance is at present closed.
Portions of the first, second and third stores of the palace are preserved. The architect took advantage of the location of the palace on Al-Muizz Street, being the main thoroughfare in medieval Cairo, and built shops below it. The main hall is located on the second floor of the palace, and consists of a central main area (durqa'a) surrounded on all sides by iwans. The hall is characterized by a wooden ceiling decorated with exquisite geometric units. Three tiers of wooden muqarnas are suspended from all four corners of the hall. A polychrome marble fountain, which would ease the temperature, distinguishes the central position of the hall. The third story of the palace consists of a series of rooms, which constituted the harem where the women resided. These rooms overlook the main hall on the second floor by means of what is known as aghani, a balcony with ornamented pointed arches, containing wooden screens (mashrabiyyas) of turned wood with small windows. These aghani reflect the life of luxury enjoyed by the owners of the palace. The women of the palace would sit behind the mashrabiyyas to watch the delightful gatherings of singing and music which took place in the hall on the floor below, and which were attended by the men.
It may be observed that the materials used in the construction of this palace were adapted to the environment and the hot weather of Cairo. Stone was the principle material for building, to provide insulation from the heat. In addition, marble was used for the floors and to line the inner walls, and to further cool the hall it was provided with a fountain at the center. Likewise, the mashrabiyyas, assisted in shielding the women from the sun's glare and cooling the air inside the building.
 

It remains nearly complete in its original form, with two stories, qa'a, a small courtyard, and integrated stables which have a special gate opening onto a side street. The long facade was endowed with many windows opening onto the busiest street in medieval Cairo. The second floor chamber, with its pointed arches, stained-glass windows and gilt and painted wood paneling distinguish it as one of the most beautiful private chambers of the period.It is notable because of its museum which documents the history of the city of Cairo, and its beautiful Qaa (chamber).

The main entrance to the palace is ten meters off Sharia al-Muizz on Darb Qarmiz Street.   The staircase leads to the main reception hall of the palace that is topped by a coffered ceiling and overlooked by a side mashrabiya gallery, allowing women to observe the passerby without themselves being seen.  The balcony of the palace allows a great view of the adjacent sabil-kuttab of Katkhuda and the mashrabiya on the first and second floor are strategic points for monitoring the bustling crowd of Sharia al-Muizz


The palace was frequently used by many people. Then, it was neglected and almost demolished except for those sections that still preserve the details of its original features.Much restoration work has been undertaken on the palace, along with many of Egypt's Islamic monuments.