Qurʼan of Père Lachaise


This 14th-century Mameluke Qurʼan, which belonged to Père Lachaise, confessor of Louis XIV, was obtained by the Jesuit order of Paris in 1693. The manuscript was confiscated when the order was dissolved in France in 1763. Gerhoh Steigenberger (1741–87), canon regular of the Upper Bavarian monastery of Polling, subsequently bought it, along with large parts of the dissolved Jesuit library. Steigenberger had been sent to Paris to acquire books and manuscripts for the monastic library. After the dissolution of the monastery in 1803, the manuscript was transferred to the Munich Court Library, predecessor of the present-day Bavarian State Library. It is written in monumental golden Muhaqqaq script, which was predominantly used for Qurʼan manuscripts in the Mameluke period. The marginal ornaments show lotus flower motifs, which were introduced to Islamic art after the Mongol incursions of the 13th century.  The Mamelukes were a military caste, originally composed of slaves from Turkey, who ruled Egypt from about 1250 until 1517.

Subject Date


Title in Original Language

Qur’an of Père Lachaise

Type of Item

Physical Description

280 sheets, paper : illustrations ; 29 x 21 centimeters


  • BSB Shelfmark: Cod.arab. 6

Last updated: April 6, 2015