Khanqah al-Farafra is located just north of the Citadel of Aleppo in the center of a quarter named after it. This rare example of a Sufi monastery was built in 1237 by Ayyubid Governor al-Nasr II Yusuf (r. 1236-1260).
The Khanqah is entered on the north side through a muqarnas-vaulted portal that opens onto a narrow east-west running street. The portal leads to the rear of a deep iwan that opens onto the north side of the building's central courtyard. On the far side of the courtyard (the south side) is a triple archway leading onto a rectangular prayer hall three bays wide and one deep. The central bay (before the mihrab) is domed, while the lateral bays are barrel vaulted. On east and west sides of the courtyard, sleeping cells on two levels open onto the central space via doorways on the ground floor and windows on the upper story.
Burns, Ross. Monuments of Syria: A Historical Guide, 43. London: I & B Tauris Co. Ltd., 1992.
Tabbaa, Yasser. Constructions of Power and Piety in Medieval Aleppo, 164-168. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997.
Hammad, Manar. 2004. Architectures Ayyoubides, le style austère à Alep. (Unpublished paper).
Prepared as an accompaniment to a photography exhibition by the author on 10 - 22 Mars 2004 at the Syrian Cultural Center in Paris, this document consists of a brief introduction to the Ayyubid architecture of Aleppo, with specific information on photographs of the following monuments: Madrasa al-Firdaws, Mashhad Dikkah, Mashhad of Husayn, Madrasa al-Zahiriyya (extra-mural), Sultaniyya Madrasa (also known as Madrasa al-Zahiriyya, intra-mural), Madrasa al-Kamiliyya and Khanqah al-Farafra.