A Medieval Hospital and Medical School in Damascus

One thousand years of ancient medicine and healing

Bimaristan Nur al-Din in Damascus (2017) by CyArkCyArk

The Bimaristan of Nur al-Din hospital and medical school in Damascus is known for over 1000 years of medical findings. It was established in 1154 by Nur al-Din, also known as the Light of the faith, a member of the Turkish Zangid Dynasty and Governor of Aleppo and Mosul.

Bimaristan Nur al-Din in Damascus (2017) by CyArkCyArk

This stunning Persian style structure can be found near the Great Mosque of Damascus, within the nearby commercial center. It functioned as a hospital and medical school up until the 19th century when the modern state hospital was founded.  

Pan around the internal courtyard.

Ceiling in Bimaristan Nur al-Din in Damascus (2017) by CyArkCyArk

The entryway is a perfect example of muqarna, an ornately crafted honeycomb arch. The interior of the courtyard features iwans, traditional Persian styled recessed walls.

Bimaristan lecture hallCyArk

During its days as a functioning hospital and medical school, professors and doctors of the Nur al-Din Bimaristan wrote over thirty medical books. The structure is now home to the Museum of Medicine and Science in the Arab World.  

Bimaristan courtyardCyArk

This medieval Islamic hospital is one of the many important heritage sites in the heart of Damascus and tells the story of the evolution of medicine and hospitals in the city.  

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