Audience Hall of al-Mundhir
Rusafa, Syria

The audience hall of al-Mundhir was constructed outside the walled city of Rusafa during the reign of the Ghassanid leader and phylarch al-Mundhir III ibn al-Harith (562-583 AD). The Ghassanids (Banu Ghassan) were an Arab tribe of Christian faith living in the Syrian steppe who offered their alliance to the Byzantine Emperor and were an important aid in keeping peace and security on the Empire's eastern frontier with Sasanian Iran. 

The audience hall is located to the north of the walled enclosure and east of the main road that connected Rusafa and the Euphrates. Its plan is related to a cross-in-square church: a central square bay is joined on all four sides by narrower rectangular bays forming a cross shape. Between the "arms" of this cross are four square corner bays, completing the square plan. The eastern end of the central set of bays terminates in an apse and this apse is flanked by two side rooms.

Rusafa, Syria
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Associated Names
ca. 570-581 AD
Style Periods
Variant Names
Audience Hall of al-Munzir
Audience Hall of al Mundhir
Building Usages