see + do
Palace Walk, Cairo, Egypt
Concierge.com's insider take:
Sadly, the tenth-century palaces of the Fatimids (Shiites from Tunisia who gave Cairo its name, Al-Qahira, meaning "the victorious") no longer exist. However, three massive stone gates to their walled city, Bab Al-Futuh and Bab Nasr to the north, and Bab Zuwayla to the south, still stand. Linking them, Sharia Muizz Li Din Allah was the Fatimid main street known as Palace Walk. The newly declared daytime pedestrian zone is lined with working souks and 34 Islamic monuments, including the 13th-century hospital, mosque, and madrassa complex of the Mamluk sultan Qalawun; Beit Al-Sihaymi, a restored 18th-century Ottoman century house; and the 16th-century mosque, mausoleum, and caravanserai of the Mamluk sultan Al-Ghuri (a colorful figure who played polo into his 70s and died in a battle against the Syrians). The mile-long walk takes you past the Khan El-Khalili's copper souk and a women's clothing market selling Saudi-style black abayas as well as Frederick's of Hollywoodstyle teddies for brides' trousseaus. Continue south under the archway of Bab Zuwayla and you'll reach the tentmakers' souk, which originally outfitted pilgrims' caravan trips to Mecca and today sells canvas items appliquéd with Islamic and pharaonic motifs.
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