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Expensive Area Rugs

expensive area rugs

Mansion in al-Qahira

Mansion in al-Qahira

I realized after spending nearly three months in Egypt that I've seen mosque, mosque, mosque, madrasa, madrasa, madrasa, mausoleum, mausoleum, mausoleum.

Is this the only architecture they had in Egypt?! Did the residents live in masgids year-round?!


But the only residential areas in the Downtown area of Cairo today are tall and very plain looking apartment buildings. Nothing very Islamic or stylized!

(If you go to the newer areas, you'll find very beautiful homes being constructed, but there's no history in that!)

So I was excited when my class took another trip over to the Qasaba (the main boulevard during the Fatimid empire of al-Qahira around 1,000 CE) and visited a gigantic mansion complex in the heart of the once-palace city.

It was pretty spectacular. From the open courtyard to the massage area in the bathroom to the fountains and domes in each room. Very exquisite :D

The room pictured is a standard room in the mansion. It may have usually been used for the elderly members living in the home (these complexes usually held generations of family) but really, who knows because almost every room was multi-purpose.

The ceilings were high and there were tons of steps and decorations throughout, but the most beautiful thing about this room was the mashrabiya windows -- used to keep the sun out, but allow the light in.

Another great architectural detail is on the north end of the rooms. This photo was taken looking south, but if I were to have turned around to take the photo, a gigantic window would've been in the shot, engineered in such a way that it would catch only the north winds of Egypt, an early type of air conditioning. Genius.

Today, this mansion is just a kind of museum as it has become too difficult for any owners to maintain (I didn't see a single light turned on in the entire complex, even in the dark bathroom... but maybe because they were just all turned off?), you can enter and walk around it for LE 30, or LE 15 for students.

It's definitely a treat, a great complex in it's own right, but an amazing one being in the heart of al-Qahira :D

(I can't exactly vouch for where I geotagged this photograph in case you want to visit it... it was kind of hard to locate on the map. But it's definitely just north al-Aqmar mosque, east of the Qasaba)

Stitched in Photochop CS5, filled up holes using Content-Aware fill... which is pretty amazing!

Istanbul Grand Bazaar #2

Istanbul Grand Bazaar #2

The Istanbul Grand Bazaar is's like the size of a giant, giant shopping mall, except everyone's packed in together, there are no bathrooms, every corridor is identical, and every other shop looks exactly the same (despite having thousands and thousands of shops).

There are essentially 5-6 types of shops in the bazaar:
- Fake designer bags/purses
- shoes
- lamps/lanterns
- belly dancing outfits
- rugs

And pretty much every store, no matter what their main theme is, will be selling tea sets, ceramic plates/bowls, and shisha.

Fun place to check out, but things are too expensive compared to other markets/bazaars in the area. Also watch your wallet. And make sure to bargain, you can easily go down 30-50% of the initial price. And watch your wallet.

expensive area rugs

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