Al-Madrasa al-Zahiriyya is located between the Kamiliyya and the Firdows madrasas, about 500m south of Bab al-Maqam. It was built by the Ayyubid sultan al-Malik al-Zahir Ghazi in 1217.
The building is entered through a large, muqarnas vaulted portal on its north side. This portal opens onto an arcade on the north side of an oblong courtyard. This arcade is mirrored on the south side by a tripartite arcade that gives onto a prayer hall with three bays, each domed. In the southeast corner of the complex, off the prayer hall, is a domed mausoleum. A wind catcher (malqaf) was built above this chamber to provide ventilation.
The east side of the courtyard is occupied by a large, deep iwan rising the height of two stories. The west side is occupied on the south side by a three-domed study hall and on the north by small cells on two floors that served as residential quarters.
Allen, Terry. 2003. "Madrasah al-Zahiriyah". In Ayyubid Architecture. Occidental, CA: Solipsist Press. http://www.sonic.net/~tallen/palmtree/ayyarch/ch8.htm#alep.mzah
[Accessed August 2, 2005]
Burns, Ross. Monuments of Syria: A Historical Guide
, 39. London: I. B. Tauris, 1992.
Meinecke, Michael. Die Mamlukische Architektur in Ägypten und Syrien (648/1250 bis 923/1517)
, 1:54. 2 vols. Glückstadt: Verlag J. J. Augustin, 1992.
Tabbaa, Yasser. Constructions of Power and Piety in Medieval Aleppo
, 141-142. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997.