Madrasa al-Salimiyya
Damascus, Syria
The madrasa is a separate building to the southeast of the takiyya mosque complex of Sulayman I. It was built by Selim II (1566-1574) and is composed of a single row of arcaded cells around a rectangular courtyard, aligned northeast-southwest, with a large domed classroom at the center of the southwest wing.

The main door on the northeast side opens into a three-bay portico before the courtyard. A shallow rectangular pool occupies the center of the courtyard surrounded by twenty-two small chambers with individual chimneys. The arcade, which is composed of domed cells carried on thick stone columns, wraps around the two sides of the courtyard but not the porticoes of the entry hall and the classroom. The square domed classroom projects southwest beyond the peripheral wall of the madrasa cells and is preceded by a three-bay portico. Inside, it is decorated with alternating geometric patterns and niches, thus acting as both a prayer space and a library for the students of the madrasa.

The madrasa is linked to the main complex with a 85 meter long souk attached to its northeast wall, composed of two parallel rows of stores of forty-four domed shops. The souq leads at its northwest side into the takiyya complex and has larger gateway at its center that connects the madrasa to the street. The souq has recently been renovated and is currently used along with the madrasa as a larger market for handmade goods.


Rihawi, Abdul Qader. Arabic Islamic Architecture in Syria, 239-247. Damascus: Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, 1979.
Damascus, Syria
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1566/973 AH
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Variant Names
المدرسة السليمية
al-Madrasa al-Salimiyya
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