Bayt Bustani
Aleppo, Syria
Bayt Bustani is a large historic residential house in Aleppo. Based on architectural style and ornamentation, scholars have dated the house to the second half of the sixteenth/tenth century AH during the first decades of Ottoman rule in Aleppo.1 The house is named after the family who owned it in the twentieth century. The house, however, is part of the waft of Hashim Agha, a notable family of the eighteenth century. This waqf includes a number of adjoining courtyard houses, but the Bustani house is the oldest among them.

The house is accessed through a door on a small blind alley off the main street leading from Bab Qinnasrin north toward the suqs and great mosque. An unassuming door leads onto a bent corridor that gives onto the west side of a courtyard, around which the house's plan is based.

The central courtyard is approximately 136 meters square in area. Its facade is decorated on all four sides with stonework of alternating dark and light colors (ablaq). The main facade is the southern, onto which a large, two-story iwan opens. Framing this iwan are two rooms on either side, one on the ground floor and on on a second story. Directly across from the iwan on the courtyard's north side is a two-story facade with a row of four windows per story. These illuminate two large rooms that face onto the courtyard. The courtyard's eastern facade is that of the house's reception hall (qa'a), and features a door surmounted by an intricately carved stone lunette.

The qa'a is an elaborate structure featuring a central sunken portion ('ataba) onto which one enters. This central 'ataba is paved in marble and features a basin, and is surmounted by a high dome on a drum pierced with many windows. On the north, west, and south sides of the 'ataba, raised quadrangular areas served as sitting rooms. The back sitting room (west) is flanked by two domed rooms (qubbas). 


Notes:

  1. David, "Grande maison."

Sources:

David, Jean-Claude. “Une grande maison de la fin du XVIe siècle à Alep.” Bulletin d’études orientales 50 (1998): 61–96.

iDAI Gazetteer record:
Location
Aleppo, Syria
Images & Videos
Associated Names
Associated Collections
Events
second half 16th/10th c. AH
Style Periods
1299-1922
Variant Names
بيت بستاني
Original
Bayt Bustani
Transliterated
Bayt Boustani
Alternate transliteration
Beit Boustani
Alternate transliteration
Bayt Bostani
Alternate transliteration
Building Usages
private residence
residential