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Bayt Al-Suhaymi

Bayt Al-Suhaymi - Egypt Tours Portal

Bayt Al-Suhaymi History

Within the majestic El Muizz Street in Islamic Cairo on the corner of the yellow lane, "Darb Al-Asfar" lies Bayt Al-Suhaymi. The house was built in 1648 AD by a man called Adel Wahab El Tablawy, then after various centuries it was bought and occupied by sheik Mohamed Amin El Seheimy a Turkish sheik from Al-Azhar who lived in it until his death in 1929 and whose family held it for several subsequent generations. The Sheikh massively extended the house by incorporating neighboring houses into its original structure which gave it a unique design. Afterward, the house was purchased by the Egyptian government for the cost of 6,000 and a restoration fee of 1,000 in 1930. The house today is being used as a museum in which foreign visitors can tour as all the enchanting decorations and original structures are still intact.

Bayt Al-Suhaymi Architecture

Bayt Al-Suhaymi is regarded as a perfect model of ottoman era architecture, it holds a very prestigious and expensive part of Islamic Cairo as The house plan is highly influenced by Ottoman architecture allocated on the ground floor "The Salamlek" is a place reserved for men. The house consists of three sections: in the middle, there is the Dorqa'a which is the entrance of a covered courtyard, whose floor is designed with colorful marble. The ceiling contains a ventilated dome allowing fresh air to circulate around the house. On the right and left there are two iwans, a rectangular space, usually vaulted, walled on three sides, with one end entirely open. The Salamlek also included the Takhtabush which is a covered outdoor sitting area with benches that opens onto the courtyard. A luxurious feature is the Hammam which is a Turkish bath located in two rooms, one has a wooden bed for massage, while the other has a small basin with two taps, believed to act as a sauna. The walls of the house are covered with Lebanese cedarwood and straight under the ceiling are written Qur'anic verses. The house inner atmosphere is quite magical as with the effect of the stained glass and incredible painted ceilings combined with the dappled light from the windows covered in Mashrabiya "Wooden Latticework".

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