Nur al-Din Bimaristan

The central courtyard

Nur al-Din Bimaristan (Arabic: البيمارستان النوري) is a large medieval bimaristan ("hospital") in Damascus, Syria. It is located in the al-Hariqa quarter in the old walled city, to the southwest of the Umayyad Mosque.[1] It was built and named after the Zengid Sultan Nur ad-Din in 1154. The bimaristan is well known for its unusual portal, which displays an antique lintel and a curious flattened muqarnas vault. It is also unusual in its full-scale Mesopotamian-style muqarnas vault over the vestibule.[2] It was restored in 1975 and now houses the Museum of Medicine and Science in the Arab World.


The building is of the Iraqi type, in plan also, with a symmetrical disposition of four iwans around a central courtyard. But other than that, the building is fully in the Damascene construction tradition, and in fact stones from the outer enclosure of the antique temple were reused in it.[3]


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  1. "Al- Hakawati".
  2. Allen, Terry. Classical Revival. p. 57ff.
  3. Allen, Terry (1999). Ayyubid Architecture. Solipsist Press. ISBN 0-944940-02-1.

Coordinates: 33°30′37″N 36°18′13″E / 33.51028°N 36.30361°E / 33.51028; 36.30361

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