Jami' Darwish Basha
Damascus, Syria
Darwish Pasha Mosque is situated on the intersection of Darwish and Straight Streets (Suq al-Tawil), inside the walled city of Damascus. It was erected in 1574 by the Ottoman governor of Damascus Darwish Pasha. The building is built with alternating courses of black and white stones and is composed of a prayer hall preceded by a portico and a rectangular courtyard.

The mosque courtyard is entered from the east through an arched doorway set inside a high portal along Darwish Street. Above the door is an Arabic inscription carved in marble stating the name of the mosque's patron and its erection date. On each side of the portal arch are two medallions of polychrome stone. The cylindrical minaret, crowned by a conical roof above a single balcony supported on muqarnas corbels, rises directly above the portal and is accessed by a spiral staircase entered from the courtyard.

The courtyard is rectangular and has a sixteen-sided fountain in its center. Its walls are decorated with numerous Kashani tile panels and its floor is paved with polychrome stones. The northern and western alls of the courtyard are pierced with two and three windows, respectively, that have floral and inscriptive tiles in their tympana. To the south side of the courtyard, is the five bay portico of the prayer hall. Its domes are carried on white stone columns with black capitals. Doorways at the east and west ends of the portico lead out to the streets.

The prayer hall is accessed through a door centered on the portico and flanked by windows with arched tympana. Adjoining the windows on both sides of the portico are three tile panels. The first panel on the east side is a tiled mihrab niche followed by a flat tiled panel depicting a niche. A similar panel is found on the west side of the entrance.

Inside, the prayer hall has a tri-partite plan centered on a square domed space that is flanked by aisles covered with three smaller domes. The central dome is supported by pendentives marked with inscriptive medallions. It is pierced by sixteen arched windows that help illuminate the hall that only has windows on its western and northern walls. The qibla wall is entirely covered with polychrome marble laid out in geometric patterns. The arch of the mihrab is supported by two marble columns with Corinthian capitals and set within a rectangular frame of star and diamond niche motifs made of colored stones. The niche itself is covered with vertical strips of black and white marble whereas its semi-dome is decorated with a zigzag pattern made of black, white and red marble. To the right of the mihrab is the plain marble minbar with a muqarnas lintel above its doorway. The north, east and west walls of the prayer hall are decorated with Kashani tile panels and the windows are covered with colored glass.

Sources:

Burns, Ross. Monuments of Syria, a Historical Guide, 96. I.B. London: Tauris & Co, London, 1992.

Sauvaget, Jean. Les Monuments Historiques de Damas, 83-84. Beirut: Imprimerie Catholique, 1938.
Location
Suq al-Tawil, Damascus, Syria
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Documents
Associated Names
Events
1574/982 AH
Style Periods
1299-1922
Variant Names
Jami' Darwish Basha
جامع درويش باشا
Original
Jami' Darwish Pasha
Alternate transliteration
Dervis Pasa Camii
Translated
Mosque of Darwish Pasha
Translated
Building Usages
mosque
religious