Fodor's Expert Review Palace of Bishtak

Islamic Cairo North: al-Husayn Mosque to Bab al-Futuh Castle/Palace/Chateau

Bishtak was a wealthy amir who married one of Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad's daughters. The original palace, completed in 1339, was purported to be five stories tall, with running water on each floor. The austere facade gives no hint of the lofty interior space. Only the women's quarters have survived the centuries, and even they are so impressive in scale as to give an idea of what the whole complex must have been like. See the mezzanine level with its mashrabiyya (oriel windows) galleries, from which the sequestered ladies of the household watched events in the main hall below without being seen. The coffered wooden ceilings in these galleries are worth the climb, as is the view of the city from the roof. The palace entrance—the building itself fronts Shar'a al-Mu'iz—is around to the left side of the building as you face it.

Castle/Palace/Chateau Building/Architectural Site Local Interest–Sight Historical

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