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Damascus National Museum

Photo © upyernoz. View all images in our Damascus National Museum Photo Gallery.
Photo © Peter Brubacher.
Fresco of Moses and the Exodus, from the Dura Europos synagogue. Photo © Richard Beck.
Fresco of Abraham, from the Dura Europos synagogue. Public domain photo.

The National Museum in Damascus contains a world-class archaeological and historical collection spread over two wings. Many of the most important finds from excavations throughout Syria are on display here.

What to See

The artifacts on display begins even before you enter: the façade incorporates the transplanted gate of Qasr al-Heir al-Gharbi, a desert castle near Palmyra. Inside, the west wing contains pre-classical and Arab Islamic collections, and the east wing contains Classical and Byzantine collections.

The star exhibit of the National Museum is the fully-reassembled 2nd-century synagogue from Dura-Europos. Its walls are covered with Talmudic injunctions and bright figurative paintings of biblical scenes. (The celebrated church found at Dura-Europos is now in the museum of Yale University.)

The west wing has rooms devoted to Ugarit, whose exhibits include the small clay tablets containing the oldest alphabet in the world. It also contains the ivory head of an unknown prince, a collection of cylinder seals, and Mycenaean pottery imported from Greece. Another room is devoted to Mari, the Bronze Age sight on the Euphrates, with the 3rd millennium treasure of King Cansud.

Further on is a room concentrating on finds from Raqqa, the Abbassid city on the Euphrates. Another hall contains Islamic jewelry, coins and armor, and the final hall is the Damascus Salon, a wood-and-marble paneled room from an 18th-century palace.

The east wing contains rooms of pottery, sculptures and glassware ranging from the Phoenician to Classical. There are rooms concentrating on the Hauran and Jebel al Arab, where most objects are made of basalt. Another hall contains classical statues, found at Palmyra, carved in ivory, bronze, and marble.

Quick Facts on Damascus National Museum

Site Information
Names:Damascus National Museum
City:Damascus
Country:Syria
Categories:Museums
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Damascus, Syria
Coordinates:33.512667° N, 36.289837° E  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of Damascus National Museum

Below is a location map and aerial view of Damascus National Museum. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.

References

  1. "The National Museum of Damascus." Syria Gate (2006).
  2. Lonely Planet Syria and Lebanon, 3rd ed. (July 2008), 95-97.

More Information

Article Info

Title:Damascus National Museum
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:07/30/2010
Permalink:www.sacred-destinations.com/syria/damascus-national-museum
Link code:<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/syria/damascus-national-museum">Damascus National Museum</a>