Syria in the Eighties: Aleppo: Old Saray Ruins

In 1992, Dr. Bianca took a number of pictures of the “Old Saray” in Aleppo were taken to support a proposal of rehabilitation of this Important historic complex on the Eastern foot of the Citadel, which had been abandoned after the construction of the “New Saray” In the 1930s, which moved the seat of the Administration to the south of the Citadel.

The Old Saray consisted originally of several residences owned by the family al-Chelebi, who also built the Madrasa al-Ahmadiyya and the coffee-house in the Souk al-Ahmadiyya, both constructed in 1724. The complex served later as the residence of Ibrahim Pasha (1831-1841), the ottoman governor of Aleppo in the beginning of the 19th century. The Saray became then the official residence and the offices of the following ottoman governors of Aleppo. After the establishment of the new governors' palace in the al-Jamiliyah neighborhood, the complex was renovated and used as the City Saray at the end of the 19th century. It included, offices, official halls, a post, and a little jail. Then after the completion of the New Saray building south of the Citadel in 1930, the majority of the Old Saray buildings were used as a jail. While the building was partially destroyed in the 1980's as a result of the creation of a major new road, it hosted the Maintenance Services of the Old City in a small section of the complex. The site was then abandoned and deteriorated. Some sections of the remains were also affected by the hostilities from 2012 to 2016.

Source :Thierry Grandin

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