Damascus – al-Qasab Mosque
دمشق – جامع القصب

al-Qasab Mosque (جامع القصب), also known as al-Aqsab Mosque (جامع الاقصاب), is named after the sugar cane which once grew along the Barada River (نهر بردى) in this area north of Bab al-Salam (باب السلام‎) just outside the old city of Damascus (دمشق). The mosque was originally constructed in 1234 under the rule of al-Sultan al-Malak al-Ashraf Moussa Ibn al-Ayoubi (الملك الأشرف موسى الأيوبي‎ السلطان‎) and is believed to have been built over an earlier Byzantine church. The mosque may also be called Manjak Mosque (جامع منجك) after al-Amir Nasr al-Din Mohammed Bin Ibrahim Bin Manjak (الامير ناصر الدين محمد بن ابراهيم بن منجك), who rebuilt it in 1408 subsequent to the destruction by Mongol attacks on Damascus (دمشق) during the Mamluk era. Yet another name for the building is al-Sadat al-Zinabiyeh Mosque (جامع السادات الزينبية).

The visitor is first greeted by an attractive square minaret topped by a hexagonal turret at the northeast corner of the building. The minaret includes a double arched windows on all four sides, each topped by a pointed arch of alternating basalt and limestone. Above, a roofed balcony built of metal and wood wraps around the shaft. Southeast of the minaret is a courtyard which includes two Roman columns in the left arcade. The large rectangular prayer hall includes a mihrab decorated with marble mosaics and encrusted with turquoise faience, a fine example of Mamluk ornamentation.

 

Getting There: al-Qasab Mosque (جامع القصب) is located about one hundred meters to the north of Bab al-Salam (باب السلام‎), one of the northern gates of the old city Damascus (دمشق) in the neighborhood of al-Qeimariyeh (القيمرية). Follow the road that runs north from Bab al-Salam (باب السلام‎) roughly one hundred meters, and the mosque will be on the right (east).

Coordinates: 33°30’57.00″N / 36°18’39.00″E

Transliteration Variants: al-Aqsab Mosque

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