The bimaristan, or hospital, of Nur al-Din Zangi in Aleppo is located in the old city of Aleppo in the area south of the main suq. It was constructed between 1148-1155/453-549 AH during the reign of Nur al-Din Mahmud ibn Zangi.
Very little of the original building remains beyond parts of its entrance portal, including the door frame, inscription plaque and part of the facade on the street. Much of the rest of the building has been renovated and rebuilt over the centuries.
The entrance portal takes the form of a recessed iwan with benches flanking either side of the door. Framing the door is a zigzag molding formed by carved semicircles in alternation with triangles. A relieving arch surmounts the door and above this arch is an inscription plaque. The original vault of the small iwan has been replaced.
Terry Allen has pointed out that style of the bimaristan's portal, characterized by the use of unadorned stone masonry and the limitation of carved ornament to moldings and inscription plaques, relates it to several other monuments constructed during the reign of Nur al-Din ibn Zangi.1
1. Allen, Classical Revival, 12.
Allen, Terry. A Classical Revival in Islamic Architecture,
10-12. Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert, 1986.
Allen, Terry. "Bimaristan of Nur al-Din, Aleppo". In Ayyubid Architecture
. Occidental, CA: Solipsist Press, 2003. http://www.sonic.net/~tallen/palmtree/ayyarch/ch2.htm#alep.bimn
[Accessed August 2, 2005.]
Herzfeld, Ernst. Matériaux pour un Corpus inscriptionum arabicarum. Part 2: Syrie du nord. Inscriptions et monuments d’Alep, vol. 1, pt. 1, p. 229-231. 2 vols. in 3 parts. Cairo: Institut Francais d'archéologie orientale, 1954-1956.