"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Damascus -- Azem Palace

One place we visited on our second day was Azem Palace. We were not supposed to take pictures inside most of these buildings, but one of the daredevils in our group took a few on the sly. (Not me.) The information below is from Wikipedia and it does not necessarily correspond to the picture above or below it.

Azem Palace (Arabic: قصر العظم‎) is a palace in Damascus, Syria which was originally built in 1750 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 excellent example of Damascene traditional houses. The structure itself consists of several buildings and two wings: the harem and the salamlik. The harem is the family wing, which is a private space for the residents (the Azem family originally).

This wing includes the kitchen, servant quarters, and the baths, which are a replica of the public baths in the city but on a smaller scale.

The salamlik is the guest wing, and it is comprised of the formal halls, reception areas and large courtyards with traditional cascading fountains.

Used in the building of this palace were several types of stones including limestone, sandstone, basalt, and marble. This provided for a natural decorative appearance of the structure.

The ceilings have painted wooden panels that display natural scenes.

In 1925, the Azem palace was heavily damaged by French artillery during the Syrian revolution. It has since been restored and became a museum of arts and folk traditions. It received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1983.

Pictures from Damascus, Syria
January 31, 2009

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