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dosseman_syria | all galleries >> دمشق‎ Damascus - To the North of the Souqs > Damascus 2010 1353.jpg
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Damascus 2010 1353.jpg
05-OCT-2010

Damascus 2010 1353.jpg

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Het Beit Khalid al-Azem. I could visit the courtyards but none of the museum rooms. From Tripwolf, a travel site, I quote: Little visited by tourists, this museum occupies the large Beit Khalid al-Azem (the palace of a former prime minister, Khalid al-Azem). The extensive complex is divided into a northern section which houses the museum, and a southern section which houses an important archive of historical documents not officially open to the public. From the entrance on the north side of the palace, a small initial courtyard leads through to the main courtyard, dotted with trees and shrubs, and with a fountain and pool on one side. This was the private family area of the palace (the haramlek). A large iwan occupies part of one wall, while the various rooms around the courtyard contain the museumís exhibits.

The quality of the decoration in the rooms is superb, easily matching that of the more famous Azem Palace in the Old City. Lavishly carved marble-work and intricately decorated wood panelling adorn the walls and ceilings and there are numerous items of inlaid wood furniture. One room contains an intriguing fountain, fashioned from stone into something that resembles a water-maze, which was used for games. Another room contains large scale models of the Old City, Salihiye district and various buildings and complexes around Damascus, as well as an interesting collection of old photographs.

A doorway at the end of the passage to the left of the iwan leads through to the southern half of the complex. This represents the public visitorsí areas (the salemlek) and consists of a series of three courtyards. This is where the archive is housed and, although it is not officially open to the public, it is often possible to wander through and admire the impressive exterior decoration of the courtyards and rooms. If you do make it through to here, you can exit via the south door which leads out onto the eastern extension of Souq Sarouja Street.

Nikon D3
1/80s f/8.0 at 24.0mm iso1250 full exif

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