Short Title

B05.047 Bab Zuwayla

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Creator

Denis Baly

Description

The Bab (Arabic for gate) Zuwayla, one of "the three Fatimid gates that remain standing" (Williams, 158). "Bab Zuwayla, also called Bab al-Mitwalli, dates from 1092. It was part of the city fortifications put up by the Armenian wazir Badr al-Gamali and his Anatolian or Mesopotamian Christian architects. The gate was named after Fatimid soldiers from the Berber tribe al-Zawila who were quartered in the vicinity after the building of the original gate in 969, when al-Qahira was founded ... The gate was a place for public executions, and the heads of criminals were displayed above the gate on spikes. Later the name was ascribed to a miracle-working saint, Mitwalli al-Qutb, who was venerated by the populace. The gate became a resort for those in need of the saint’s intercession. When a person was sick, a piece of clothing or some hair or other token was hung on the doors of the gate and the saint responded directly to the supplicant ... The gate was a place for public executions, and the heads of criminals were displayed above the gate on spikes. Later the name was ascribed to a miracle-working saint, Mitwalli al-Qutb, who was venerated by the populace. The gate became a resort for those in need of the saint’s intercession. When a person was sick, a piece of clothing or some hair or other token was hung on the doors of the gate and the saint responded directly to the supplicant" (Williams, 158-9). (Source: Williams, Caroline. Islamic Monuments in Cairo: The Practical Guide. The American University in Cairo, 2002.)

Keywords

Cairo, Egypt

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