Azem Palace, Damascus
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 complex serves as a folk tradition museum that includes a number of ethnographical exhibits on the customs and clothing of the people of Syria. The true draw, however, is not the museum but the architecture of this fine house. The buildings (divided between the family’s quarters and the visiting quarters) are constructed from a variety of local stones in order to create a chromatic palette that enlivens the entire courtyard. The grounds also include a number of fountains, and they point to the manner in which this was as much meant to be a reception area as one for private enjoyment. Of most interest to visitors with an eye to Ottoman decoration and architecture are the sitting rooms, which include many different examples of the painted wooden panels that were used to brighten the rooms of Ottoman officials.
The Azem Palace (Museum of popular art's and traditions), is a great place to visit.
You can go into most rooms which are staged and set up as if being used for their origional purpose.
The rooms on display include the Haman (bath house) which is very interesting.
From the plan that you see and the demarkation of the entertainment rooms for visiting males, visiting females etc, the palace offers a clear insight into the structure of the family and the rolls that each person undertook.
Directions: At the end of the Gold and Perfume souq in Old Damascus
Entrance fee is 150SYP
Another must visit while in Damascus. Once inside this magnificent palace, you cannot imagine that it is located in the busy old city, as it is so peaceful.
Beautiful architecture, gardens and rooms filled with wonderful themed displays.
The Palace has a private area, public area (for visitors), an area for the workers and a beautiful hammam.
The big reception hall was unfortunately closed at the time of visit. But I had a peak through one of the windows and it seems very impressive.
It is well worth spending an hour or more here.
Entrance fee is SYP 150
Built in the middle of the 18th century by Assad Pacha al-Azem, the Governor of Damascus under the Ottomans, Beit al-Azem (Azem Palace) is the most grand of all old Damascene houses. Like other houses of the period, the palace is divided into Selamlek (public) and Haremlek (private) quarters. The palace was heavily damaged during French bombardment of Old Damascus in the 1920s in response to an uprising against the French mandate. Meticulous restoration of the palace began in the '40s and continued well after 1954, when it became home to the Museum of Popular Arts and Tradition. A visit to the museum is highly recommended mainly for the splendid architecture, beautiful gardens and a look at Damascene life during the Ottoman period.
This is the most impressive Ottoman palace to be found around Damascus. There are finely decorated rooms and courtyards with pools and fountains. The rooms contain musical instruments, elaborate furniture, glasswear and costumes. Other rooms contain exhibits of traditional crafts such as weaving, pottery and metalwork. Open 9am-17.30pm in summer/until 15.30 in winter. Closed Tues and 12.00-14.00 on Fridays.
Address: Nr Umayyad Mosque
Azem palace south of the Umayyad Mosque was built in the 1700s by an old governor of Damascus. It is the typically Damascene with its stripes stonework and the inside the building is equally nice. The rooms are great, all decorated with tile work and fantastic painted ceilings. It is def worth a stop and a great way to get away from the lovely buzz of the old city.
The Azem Palace was built, in the 18th century, as a palatial residence for Assad Pasha al-Azem, Ottoman governor of Damascus for 14 years. It is considered a great example of Damascene houses. Inside you can visit the Museum of Popular Arts and Tradition, where you can get a taste of Damascene culture and traditions. The rooms show the typical Damascene preparation for marriage and for Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. Nice to understand the culture.
Wed-Mon 8am-1pm & 4pm-7pm
Directions: In the Old Town, south of the Umayyad mosque near Suq al-Buzuriyya - the spice Souk.
The Azem Palace was originally built between 1749 and 1752 as a residence for the Ottoman governor of Damascus, As'ad Pasha al-Azem. The palace now houses the Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions.
The architecture is an fine example of Damascene traditional houses. The complex consists of several buildings and two wings: the haramlik and the salamlik. The haramlik is the family wing, which was a private space for the family This wing includes the kitchen, servant quarters, and the baths. The salamlik is the guest wing, and it is comprised of the formal halls, reception areas and large courtyards with traditional cascading fountains.
In 1925, the Azem Palace was damaged during uprisings against the French. It has since been restored and is now an elegant museum.
Opening hours: Wed-Mon, Apr-Sep 9am-5.30pm, Oct-Mar 9am-3.30pm.
“One’s home, one’s paradise” it is said, and for Azem Palace, this is truly the case. Built around 1750, it was the house of the governor of Damascus Asad Pasha al-Azem. Like every old Damascene house, seeing it from the outside you can’t even suspect the beauty that is hidden inside. On entering the place, your feet take you right, to a peaceful courtyard with a pool and fountain. Low buildings are lined up around the courtyard, decorated with extraordinary wooden paneling, painted ceiling and blue tilling. These buildings operate also as the National Museum of the Arts and Popular Traditions of Syria. Admission fee 150SP. Open 9am-5: 30 pm Wednesday-Monday April to September, 9am-3: 30pm October to March. Close on Tuesdays.
Directions: South of Omayyad Mosque.
Azem Palace is a great place to learn about how wealthy Damascenes lived. The house is huge and is adorned with spacious rooms and large courtyards. The manequins that model traditional cloths in the rooms are a bit silly looking, especially because the "women" are really just male maniquins dressed in women's clothing. There is a nice collection of musical instruments and jewelry as well.
Azem Palace is an old Damascus House built during the 18th century. The architecture is excellent. There are several buildings and courtyards. The buildings are in three different colours coming from black basalt, limestone and sandstone. The rooms are decorated with wooden panelling and painted ceilings.
Azem Palace is also the Museum of the arts and Popular Traditions of Syria. There is a display of cloths and things from different parts of Syria.
Entrance: 150 SP (15 SP for students). I visited Azem Palace both in 2002 and 2005 and as for most attractions in Syria the entrance fee had been decreased from 300 SP(in 2002) to 150 SP.
There is also an Azem Palace in Hama.
Address: In the Old City of Damascus, south of the Umayyad
This also stands at the heart of the Old City, on the southern side of the Omayyad Mosque, and very close to it. It is an astonishing example of a Damascene house, where the simple, almost primitive, exterior contrasts rather sharply with the beauty and sophistication of the interior. Here one finds a sense of space, a wealth of polychrome stone, splendid marble, cascading fountains, and fragrant flowers. The palace was built in the mid-eighteenth century for the Governor of Damascus. The palace now houses the Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions.
Address: Damascus, the old town
Damascus still has its share of typical traditional houses - the best preserved of them is the Azem Palace. Traditional houses were built around a courtyard, and consisted of several buildings. This one had once been the residence for a city's Governor. The architecture is great, and the materials used (basalt, limestone and sandstone) are the mans by which colourful "natural" decorations were achieved. All details are played according to the three types of stones' colours. And then there are the furniture: lavish - especially the wooden panels (of which yu can see an example at the national Museum). Because this palace has been turned into a Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions it means that on Tuesdays it's closed. Entry (Jan 2003) was 150 Syrian pounds.
Address: old town
Directions: not far from the Omayyad mosque. At the end of the gold and perfume souq, to the left.
The Azem Palace is another major attraction of the old city. It is located just behind the souq al-Bizuriyyah (the sweet souq), and is now a museum of Syrian culture. Some displays are nice, some amusing (though not meant to be) and some awful. The National Museum, in the new city, is interesting but badly labelled and stuffy. The gardens are quite nice though. They are both favourite places for school outings, hence the photo.
The Azem Palace was built, in the 18th century, as a palatial residence for Assad Pasha al-Azem, . It is considered a great example of a Damascus style house.