“Al-Ghouriya neighborhood” is one of the oldest neighborhoods of Fatimid Cairo. It has the fragrance of the past and the smell of history. When you walk in its streets, you feel nostalgia for the beautiful time, and a feeling that takes you from the immediate moment to travel on the carpet of the wind in the depths of time.
The age of this neighborhood is more than 500 years. It was established by Sultan Qansuh Al-Ghouri next to the Al-Azhar Mosque, in front of the Al-Hussein Mosque, as a popular extension of his elegant palace on the street front, which is one of the most famous architectural masterpieces in the Mamluk era, in addition to the Al-Ghouri Agency, which was a meeting place for merchants from the East And the West in the late Mamluk era and the beginning of the Ottoman era, and its architectural style still bears witness to the luxury and architectural precision characterized by the inscriptions and the large number of balconies, decorated with arabesques.
The Al-Ghouri group at the entrance to the neighborhood is evidence of Sultan Al-Ghuri’s love for architecture. This group consists of the mosque, the dome, the sabil, the book and the school, and it takes a single architectural form.
About that area, the great writer Naguib Mahfouz wrote his famous trilogy, “Al-Sukaria, Qasr Al-Shouq, and Bain Al-Kasserine.” There are a number of archaeological commercial agencies in the area, perhaps the most famous of which is Wakalat Al-Ghouri, which is a large courtyard surrounded by a group of shops stacked across 4 floors, as well as a place To set up expatriate traders coming from other countries to trade in Egypt.
In the agency there are stores for storing agricultural crops such as wheat, corn, potatoes, fruits and others. Along the street, there are shops, some of which are located in historical places and ancient houses. In the neighborhood there are also a group of Ayyubid and Mamluk antiquities, including Bab Al-Futuh, Al-Aqmar Mosque, Tekke Al-Silahdar and Al-Kamelia School, all of which are antiquities. It contains a distinct aesthetic value, and the street ends at Bab Zuweila, and the Sultan Mosque “Al-Moayad Sheikh Al-Mahmoudi”, which is a fine architectural masterpiece with its rare Islamic decorations. Al-Maqrizi described this mosque, saying: “It is the mosque of the merits of the structure, witnessing the splendor of its pillars and the immensity of its structure, that its origin is the master of the kings of time.”
On the other side of the mosque, we find the Sukkari Agency, which was famous for its sugar trade, nuts industry, and Yamish Ramadan. In the area there is also “Sabil Nafeesa al-Bayda” and Hammam al-Sukaria. In the middle of the street there is a sabil of Muhammad Ali, which is built in the Ottoman style in architecture. And there were shops for the manufacture of sultan clothes in the Mamluk and Ottoman eras, and in the past, women’s clothes and accessories of popular materials and cheap prices were made.
Singer Muhammad Kandil sang to Al-Ghouriya a famous song, the words of which say: “Oh, you are going to Al-Ghouriya..Give my beloved a gift..Give him a top of reeds..befitting his drawing..And the veil, the shawl, the chain and the anklets.” commercial.
The street includes a group of Mamluk houses, such as the “House of Jamal al-Din al-Dhahabi”, Shahbandar merchants in the Mamluk era, and the neighborhood is famous for the presence of a group of perfume shops.
In the past, Al-Ghouriya Street was called Al-Attarin Street, and there are thousands of items that many people use in folk medicine, and this is confirmed by Hassan Abdel-Al, Attar, noting that most customers come to buy these types that treat some diseases in a simple folk way, in addition to buying Perfumery materials for food, and the region is one of the most famous areas in this field. There are herbs that are suitable as a treatment for kidney diseases and stomach diseases, in addition to plants such as olive oil, and there are mastic and incense, and these grains are pressed manually and find a demand from buyers.
Nader Al-Sheikh, one of the traders in the area, says: “These goods are particularly popular with women who buy in large quantities due to the quality of the offered goods. We buy from original places, so that the offered merchandise has a good smell that attracts buyers.”
Bab Zuweila is one of the most famous historical places in the region, so he used a gallows in which Tuman Bay was hung by Selim I when the Ottomans entered Cairo. With its various shapes and different designs, one of the most famous types of ancient silk fabrics is the “Atlas and Gogh” and other clothes that were famous for that long time.