One of the most beautiful historic houses in Homs (حمص) is Qasr al-Zahrawi (قصر الزهراوي), located in the old city neighborhood of al-Hamidiyeh (الحميدية). This two story building features a delightful courtyard with a central fountain and a large iwan on the southern side. It was constructed primarily of black basaltic stone, with some limestone used around the windows and doorways for decoration. The upper floors feature numerous arched loggias overlooking the central courtyard.
The present day structure dates mostly from the Ottoman era, though some portions of Qasr al-Zahrawi (قصر الزهراوي) date back to the Mamluk period and earlier. Syrian archaeological surveys in the 1990s discovered remains from the Abbasid and Ayyubid periods, as well as a Byzantine-era burial ground underneath the building. Syria’s Directorate General for Antiquities and Museums (DGAM) recently restored Qasr al-Zahrawi (قصر الزهراوي) with the intention of opening it to the public as a museum of folk culture and traditions. The building suffered significant damage during 2012-2014 fighting, however, and will be in need of substantial repairs in the coming years.
Getting There: Homs (حمص) is Syria’s third largest city and its central location means that it has regular bus connections to all major cities in Syria. Qasr al-Zahrawi (قصر الزهراوي) is located in the northern section of the old city in the neighborhood of al-Hamidiyeh (الحميدية). It is approximately five hundred meters east of al-Nuri al-Kabir Mosque (جامع النوري الكبير) and one hundred meters north of Um al-Zenar Church (كنيسة أم الزنار).
Coordinates: 34°43’49.00″N / 36°43’14.00″ E
Transliteration Variants: Qasr al-Zaharawi
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