Eternal Sites

By Rmn-Grand Palais

Sites éternels, Grand Palais

Rmn-Grand Palais and the Musée du Louvre are working together, under the distinguished patronage of UNESCO, to present a free exhibition that allows an exploration or the rediscovery of important archaeological sites that are now inaccessible: Khorsabad, Palmyra, the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus and Kerak Castle, Universal Heritage sites that are now specifically under threat from conflicts in Afghanistan and the Middle East.
This exhibition is organised by Réunion des Musées Nationaux – Grand Palais and the Musée du Louvre, in collaboration with Iconem.

Quatre vues générales des quatres sites de l'expositon "Sites éternels": Khorsabad (Irak), Palmyre, la Grande Mosquée des Omeyyades, le Krak des Chevaliers (Syrie) (2016) by Photo Iconem, 2016Original Source: Accès au site internet d'Iconem

Four sites in danger

The Eternal Sites exhibition allows you to immerse yourself in four of these archaeological sites: the city of Palmyra, the Krak des Chevaliers, the Great Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, and the site of Khorsabad, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Carte de géolocalisation de quatre sites éternels by Rmn-Grand PalaisRmn-Grand Palais

In March 2001, the world watched with dismay as the giant statues of Buddha in Bayiman (Afghanistan) were deliberately destroyed. In 2015, the site of Palmyra (Syria) suffered extensive destruction, and other major archaeological sites in the Middle East — that had borne witness to brilliant civilizations — have since been threatened by conflict, looting, and demolition. They are, as a result, inaccessible.

Sites Éternels. L'équipe Iconem dirigeant un drone. (2015-10-12) by Photo IconemRmn-Grand Palais

However, thanks to new technology, the remains can be digitally recreated using 3D maps. In spite of the war, we can therefore pass on these cultural jewels to future generations.

Sites éternels. Vue aérienne du complexe architectural de Khorsabad, dans le Nord de l’Irak. by Photo IconemOriginal Source: Iconem


The archaeological complex of Khorsabad is located in northern Iraq, around 15km from Mosul. It was here in 713 BCE that the great Assyrian king Sharrou-ken founded his new capital Dûr-Sharrukin, the "fortress of Sargon".

Sites éternels. Vue aérienne du site de Palmyre, le sanctuaire du dieu Bêl (Baal), époque gréco-romaine. by Photo Iconem & DGAMOriginal Source: accès au site d'Iconem


The site of Palmyra is home to the monumental ruins of a great city that was one of the most important cultural and commercial centers of the ancient world. Situated halfway between the Euphrates and the Mediterranean, it was a crossing point on the route linking the East and West. At the crossroads of several civilizations, its architecture combines Greco-Roman techniques with local traditions.

Visit Palmyra in 360 degreesRmn-Grand Palais

Sites éternels. La Grande Mosquée des Omeyyades de Damas, vue de la cour intérieure. (2016) by Photo Iconem & DGAM, 2016Original Source: Image Iconem

The Great Umayyad Mosque

The Great Umayyad Mosque is located in the center of Damascus, the capital of Syria. It is remarkable both for its architecture and for the sumptuous decor of mosaics on a gold background. They represent fantastical looking towns surrounded by luscious vegetation.

Visit La Mosquée des Omeyyades in 360 degreesRmn-Grand Palais

Sites éternels. Vue aérienne du Krak des Chevaliers. by Photo Iconem & DGAMOriginal Source: Accès au site d'Iconem

The Krak des Chevaliers

The Krak des Chevaliers is a fortified castle in the west of Syria. It is considered to be the best preserved example of the development of Middle-Eastern military architecture from the time of the crusades.  

Visit Le Krak des Chevaliers in 360 degrees (2016)Rmn-Grand Palais

Credits: Story

We would like to thank all the people who have contributed to the construction of this journey through "Eternal Sites" and those who have given us valuable time and information as well as permission to reproduce their documentation.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Google apps