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Thursday, August 25

Sheraton of Old Times

Click to enlarge
The khan of As'ad Pasha al-Azem is situated along Suq al-Buzuriyyah in the old city of Damascus. It was built between 1751 and 1752 by the city governor As'ad Pasha al-Azem. It is one the most prominent khans of the old city, and covers an area of 2500 square meters.
The building follows a typical khan layout with two floors giving onto a central courtyard.
Click to enlarge
The Khan is entered from Suq al-Buzuriyyah, through a monumental gateway lavishly decorated with stone carvings and roofed by a muqarnas semi-dome. The entrance leads to a square courtyard with shops on the ground floor, used for commerce and storage. The second floor, accessible by a staircase located to the right of the main entrance was used mainly for lodging, and has eighty rooms arranged along a gallery facing the courtyard.
The domes from the Khan's roof
The space of the courtyard is divided into nine equal square modules, where each module is covered with a dome raised on a drum pierced with twenty windows. The domes are supported by pendentives that transfer the load onto four piers and to the courtyard walls.Click to enlarge An octagonal marble fountain occupies the center of the courtyard below the central dome. Each of the four courtyard walls has three doorways on the ground floor, flanked by two rectangular windows. The symmetry is maintained on the second floor where each gallery façade has three archways flanked by two smaller ones. The khan is built of alternating courses of basalt and limestone.
Second floorThree of the courtyard domes were destroyed in an earthquake seven years after the khan's completion. The openings were covered with wooden planks until 1990 when the khan was restored and the domes rebuilt. No longer used for commerce at the beginning of the twentieth century, the khan was used for manufacture and storage until it was restored in 1990 for touristic use. The khan will probably host the Natural History Museum of Damascus in the future.


Query :
I was arguing with my friend if using these kinds of old historical structures as a place to display new types of arts such as Plastic Art the one shown in the pictures below, what do you think of it?

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  • لك من وين نطيتي وصورتي القبب؟؟؟؟
    شو ما عندك شغله أنتي, غير أنك تفقسينا .مرة بكاسات أزاز ومرة ناطه فوق الأسوار........ والله أنتو البنات ألكم حركات غريبه عجيبه

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 25/8/05 1:25 AM  

  • I don't see any harm in displaying modern art in such places...On the contrary, I see a nice combination. especially that the displays are kinna old people, so they really fit into this house.

    Nice work.

    By Blogger Ihsan, at 25/8/05 10:22 AM  

  • Thanks for the tour Ghalia, and very nice pics.

    About the Plastic stuff .... I think it is not thier place!

    By Blogger Hasan Bazerbashi, at 25/8/05 11:10 AM  

  • That's a really nice place. Thanks for the photos.

    I noticed that I've learned about Damascus and Syria from bloggers in the past 3 months much more than I did in my whole life.

    Thanks again Ghalia :D

    By Blogger Tolerant Damascene, at 26/8/05 4:06 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Ahmad, at 26/8/05 9:42 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Ahmad, at 26/8/05 9:44 AM  

  • about the query..
    although those statues look amazing, I don't think they mix well with the place

    By Blogger Omar, at 28/8/05 5:19 AM  

  • well actually mixing the classic and modern art is a great idea ... you are trying to do the opposite of museum de louver .. that's great actually ... but dont think it will work in that area cuz of the nice care of the area there :D

    By Blogger GraY FoX, at 31/8/05 1:44 AM  

  • good information, thanks ghalia :)

    By Blogger Zaid Faham, at 31/8/05 6:27 AM  

  • I forgot to tell you my opinion,in fact I'm agree with Omar,I think we can put old art things,that'll be better,or we can use it for music concert like Kasser ALAzem .

    By Blogger Zaid Faham, at 31/8/05 6:35 AM  

  • WOW!! That's gorgeous! That's a lotttt nicer than any Sheraton!

    By Blogger Roba, at 1/9/05 8:53 PM  

  • I think every place have a soul, a unity of some kind, in this case those places are old and antique, if anything should be displayed it should at least be from the same ERA !

    By Blogger Ahmad Nassri (i N F i N i T E), at 2/9/05 6:55 PM  

  • Niiiiice!

    By Blogger Milla, at 4/9/05 4:05 AM  

  • Thanx for you guys for giving me ur precious opinions, as a result I see that most of u don't agree on displaying this kind of art here, I personally don't see any harm with it, otherwise it encourages more people to visit these places, anyways than u all again:)

    By Blogger Ghalia, at 6/9/05 12:55 AM  

  • Thanks for the info Ghalia.
    hope to visit it someday...
    unfortunately I don't go to Damascus very often

    By Blogger Omar, at 6/9/05 3:01 AM  

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