If Damascus is one of the oldest cities in the world – if not the oldest city in the world – one would expect it to have a considerably old souq. Damascus does not disappoint whatever the visitor’s... more
The Minaret of the Bride is square and thus contrasts with the Ottoman-style minarets common in the city and with the octagonal Egyptian-style Western Minaret. It was the first one built, although its... more
Azm Palace is one of the grand old houses that can be found in the Old City of Damascus. It was built in 1750 and served as the house of Asad Pasha Azm, then Ottoman governor of the city. Today, the... more
Saladin (Salahadin in Arabic), much feared in the West, is seen as a hero in Damascus and throughout the entire Muslim world. Saladin was a Kurdish Muslim who founded the Ayyubid dynasty and reigned... more
Rail travel may not been quite as well established in the Middle East as it is in Europe, but it’s not for lack of trying. During the Ottoman period, and again under British and French Mandates,... more
While Roman and Greek art was highly developed in the realms of figurative sculpture and pottery, some of the best examples of the highly-developed artistic traditions of these two cultures can be... more
Ironically, the Citadel of Damascus does not occupy as commanding a presence as one might expect. The densely populated old town, with its compact souqs and the importance of its religious sites... more
In contrast to the tomb area of the shrine, the courtyard and the prayer hall are calm and well-organized sections. The courtyard is filled with pilgrims from various parts of the Shiite world (there... more
A fine example of traditional Damascene houses, Beit Siba'i dates from the 18th century. Architecturally, it might also be considered the purest Syrian form, not too different from Azem Palace,... more
Only about 10% of Syrians might be Christians, but the long and enduring presence of the faith in the country has led to no small division of sects among the believers. Schism after schism has created... more
Khan As’ad Pasha
Khan Asad Pasha is an important monument in the walled city of Damascus, within the Bzouriyyeh Souk. It was built by the governor of Syria, Asad al Azem, in 1752,being used as a... more
This chapel stands on the site of Ananias' house. Ananias was the man, who after receiving a message from God, miraculously restored the sight of Saul (later known as St. Paul). The ancient chapel... more
The most famous hammam (Arab bath) in Damascus, Hammam Nureddine (also spelt Nur al-Din) is also its grandest and one of its oldest. It was built by the Zengid ruler Nureddine in 1154 AD to generate... more
SAVE OLD DAMASCUS!
Damascus, Dimashq, or el-Sham - one of the earliest human settlements on Earth - developed over several millennia into one of history's greatest cities. As the oldest continuously...