The complex of Sultan Qalawun was built for the sultan by Amir 'Alam al-Din Sanjar al-Shuja'i in 1284-5 and consisted of the founder's mausoleum, madrasa, and a maristan (hospital). The complex was located on al-Mu'izz Street.
The mausoleum's central, domed plan is connected to the madrasa by a long entrance passage, and the plan of both spaces is shifted to accommodate the qibla orientation.
The mausoleum, which is separated from the madrasa by this long corridor, is accessible via a small courtyard surrounded by an arcade with shallow domes. The octagonal structure was roofed by a dome which was destroyed in the 18th century. The current concrete dome, which is a replica of that covering the Mausoleum of al-Ashraf Khalil ibn Qalawun (1288), was built by Max Herz Bey in 1903. The octagonal base is transformed into a circle by means of wooden muqarnas.
The elaborate interior decoration includes marble revetment, carved, painted, and gilded wood, carved marble, and stucco.
Meinecke, Michael. "Das Mausoleum des Qala'un in Kairo. Untersuchungen zur Genese der mamlukischen Architekturdekoration." Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Abteilung Kairo 27 (1971): 47-80.
Meinecke, Michael. Die Mamlukische Architektur in Ägypten und Syrien (648/1250 bis 923/1517). Glückstadt: Verlag J. J. Augustin, 1992.
Rabbat, Nasser. "Mamluk Throne Halls: Qubba or Iwan?" Ars Orientalis 23 (1993): 201-218.
Madrasa Mausoleum and Maristan of Sultan Qalawun (Variant)
Noweir, Sawsan and Philippe Panerai. "Cairo: The Old Town.” In Environmental Design: Journal of the Islamic Environmental Design Research Centre 1-2, edited by Attilo Petruccioli, 60-67. Rome: Carucci Editore, 1989.
Essay in Environmental Design, a journal dedicated to promoting and coordinating higher studies and research in the field of architecture, and urban and rural planning pertaining to the Islamic world.