Al-Mu'izz li-Din Allah Street
11728 Cairo, Egypt
tel: +20 2 285 4509 (Tourist Information)
fax: +20 2 285 4363 (Tourist Information)
The Sabil-Kuttab of Abdel Rahman Katkhuda is a gorgeous Islamic monument situated half way up Muizz li-Din-Allah street. A Sabil was a public water fountain, built to supply free, fresh water to anybody passing. A Kuttab was a school where children learned about the Quran. It was quite common for rich people to build a Sabil-Kuttab when they died. This was believed to be a way to atone for sins, by furnishing the population with the twin blessings of water and education.
The Sabil-Kuttab of Abdel Rahman Katkhuda was built towards the end of the 18th Century, and is one of the prettiest monuments in Islamic Cairo. It's worth paying the entrance fee of 10 LE to go in, because the interior is decorated with beautiful, delicate blue and white ceramic work depicting intertwining floral patterns. There are also lots of richly decorated ceramic vases, bowls and plates displayed around the room. The Arabesque wooden ceiling, decorated with gold gilt, is stunning. You can also go up to the first floor of the Sabil-Kuttab of Abdel Rahman Katkhuda, and have a quick glance at the silver jewellery collection. Interestingly, the stairs are decorated with a selection of mother of pearl-inlaid boxes, and detailed bronze plates: you can see where the inspiration behind many of the products sold in Khan al-Khalili came from.