Heritage for the Living in the “City of the Dead”

After the completion of conservation and adaptation for contemporary use of the maq‘ad of Sultan Qaitbey, the Heritage for the Living in the “City of the Dead” project, also funded primarily by the European Union, deals with other components of the Sultan’s magnificent funerary complex in the “City of the Dead” in Cairo. The project combines historic preservation, cultural activities, and social development work, with the overarching objective to secure long-term preservation of historic buildings and spaces by re-integrating them into the lives of the local community members and demonstrating that cultural heritage can be useful and beneficial for them.

The project, designed to last for two and a half years, deals with buildings that were once parts of Sultan Qaitbey’s “royal suburb” in the cemetery: the mausoleum and oratory of Gulshani (monument No 100), the sabil from which free drinking water was distributed (No 412), service area including a water tank and a placement for a water-wheel (listed with No183), and the area behind the mausoleum of Gulshani. This lot borders on two significant, but dramatically neglected tombs predating the Sultan’s complex, both of which have recently been conserved by ARCHiNOS: of amirs Mankalibugha and Ibn Ghurab. The lot also contains ruins of Qaitbey’s palace, never before explored or studied. (For more information  about the monuments, click here.)

The cultural and social development components of the project are continuation of the activities that ARCHiNOS and its not-for-profit sister organization, the Sultan Foundation, have been carrying out in and around the MASQ – Maq‘ad of Sultan Qaitbey, now operating as a place for culture and art in the neighbourhood.

The events organised by the project in 2018 were part of the European Year for Cultural Heritage.

Project funded by the European Union

Location: Qaitbey area within the “City of the Dead”, Cairo

​Commenced in February 2018 – ongoing

Project Director: Agnieszka Dobrowolska

Site manager: Mahmud Badawy

Project team: Ahmed Abdel ‘Aziz, Karim al-Didi, Jaroslaw Dobrowolski, Fatma Faruq, Islam Bin Na’eb

See the sites of current EU-funded work by ARCHiNOS in the complex of Sultan Qaitbey

See previous projects by ARCHiNOS in the complex of Sultan Qaitbey

See cultural events at the Maq’ad of Sultan Qaitbey