bimaristan of nur al-din, damascus, syria, easter 2004
front of the bimaristan of nur al-din, 1154.
the entrance iwan mirrors the dome above beautifully, but the refined, iranian-inspired architecture of this hospital is not the only point of interest here.
the buildings in front of it are part of a modern french rebuilding of a large part of the old town after the french had bombed it in 1925, fighting a syrian insurgency against the so-called french mandate. the british and the french had carved up and shared the arab nations between themselves after the first world war, an ugly piece of colonialism, and much violence was used to silence local calls for independence.