Name of Monument:
Hospital (Bimaristan) al-Qaymari
Al-Salihiyya Quarter, Bayn Al-Madaris Street, Damascus, Syria
Date of Monument:
Hegira 646–54 / AD 1248–56
Period / Dynasty:
Sayf al-Din al-Qaymari.
Bimaristan al-Qaymari (bimaristan being a Persian word meaning hospital or infirmary) was founded by Sayf al-Din al-Qaymari in AH 646 / AD 1248. Al-Qaymari was a prince renowned for his bravery in battle who died while fighting the Crusaders at Nablus in AH 654 / AD 1256. The construction of this grand hospital in the Salihiyya Quarter indicates the degree of urbanisation and independence the region had reached since its foundation in the AH mid-5th / AD 11th century. Bimaristan al-Qaymari continued to be used as an infirmary up until modern times.
View Short Description
This Ayyubid medical centre was sponsored by a warrior prince who died while fighting the Crusaders at Nablus in AH 654 / AD 1256. It continued to be used as an infirmary until modern times. The layout of the building is inspired by the architectural style brought to Syria by the Atabegs, particularly the Bimaristan Nur al-Din. Its more lavish ornamentation, seen in its entrance and main iwan, signifies a period of transition that heralds the more flamboyant style of the Mamluks. Colourful and curvilinear stones decorate its recessed muqarnas portal, which includes a protruding ledge for visitors to sit on while awaiting entry.
How Monument was dated:
The monument is dated by the inscription along the top of the doorway which cites the beginning of construction in 646 (1248). Its completion date is not completely legible –65(?), but the date of Sayf al-Din's death is known to be 654 / 1256.
Allen, T., “Ayyubid Architecture”, Occidental (electronic publication 7th edition), 2003.
Citation of this web page:
Abd al-Razzaq Moaz, Zena Takieddine "Hospital (Bimaristan) al-Qaymari" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. 2020. http://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=monument;ISL;sy;Mon01;9;en