Qasr al-Hayr al-Sharqi
قصر الحير الشرقي
The palace Qasr al-Hayr al-Sharqi
Location within Syria
Homs Governorate, Syria
35°04′26″N 39°04′16″E / 35.073889°N 39.071111°E / 35.073889; 39.071111
Qasr al-Hayr al-Sharqi (Eastern al-Hayr Palace or the “Eastern Castle”) is a castle (qasr) in the middle of the Syrian Desert. It was built by the Umayyad caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik in 728-29 CE in an area rich in desert fauna. It was apparently used as a military and hunting outpost. The palace is the counterpart of Qasr al-Hayr al-Gharbi, a nearby castle palace built one year earlier.
3 World Heritage Status
4 See also
Qasr al-Hayr al-Sharq is 27 kilometres (17 mi) from Al-Sukhnah and 100 kilometres (62 mi) from Sergiopolis (Rusafa), near Bishri Mountain near Palmyran Middle Mountains.
The palace consists of a large open courtyard surrounded by thick bulwarks and towers guarding the entrances as well as each corner. The palace consists of two square structures, one with a diameter of 300m and the other of 100 metres (330 ft). The palace(s) contains remnants of rooms, arches and columns which seem to be parts of a huge royal complex. Some of the decorated parts have been moved to the National Museum of Damascus while the gate has been reconstructed in the Deir ez-Zor Museum.
The bigger palace has been several floors, with a huge gate and many towers. Towers were not built as defensive measures. There were also olive yards. The palaces were supplied with water by nearby Byzantine church by a canal 5,700 metres (6,200 yd) long. The palaces contained bathrooms, water reservoirs, mosques and gardens.
World Heritage Status
This site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on June 8, 1999 in the Cultural category.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Qasr al-Heir al-Sharqi.
List of castles in Syria
^ a b Constable, O.R. (2003). Housing the Stranger in the Mediterranean World: Lodging, Trade, and Travel in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 56. ISBN 0-521-81918-0.
^ Un Château du désert: Qasr al-Hayr ach-Charqi – UNESCO World Heritage Centre Archived February 13, 2009, at the Wayback Machine..
^ Un Château du déser