This is an extremely remarkable museum and a must stop for any visitor to Damascus. It is a good course in the colorful history and culture of the city. The exhibits are fascinating and labeled in English and Arabic. The museum is divided into categories corresponding to the three eras in Syrian history; Pre-Classical, Classical and Islamic.
The Pre-Classical section comprises of a number of rooms. The first Ugarit room contains finds from Ugarit which includes bronze figures and stone tablets with the early alphabet inscribed on them. The Ras Shamra Hall contains archaeological finds from Ancient Syria. The Ebla and Mari rooms contain exhibits from Mesopotamia that dates to the 2nd millennium B.C.
The Classical section contains artifacts from the Roman rule of this region including ceramics and jewelry.There is also a synagogue dating back to 2 A.D, discovered at Dura Europos and reconstructed in the museum. The highlight of this exhibit are the wall frescoes which depict stories from the Old Testament. The crowning of King Solomon, Moses’ life and the exodus of Jews from Egypt are the various stories told and preserved in these frescoes.
The Islamic section contains a number of beautiful exhibits. One of the most famous exhibits is the Main Gate to a desert palace dating back to the Omayyad caliphate in the year 688 A.D. as well as the stone screens from this same palace. Remnants of the carved wooden ceiling of this palace are also on display. The Raqqa room contains relics from the Abbassid Period; the Abbassid suffered greatly at the hands of the Mongols in 1260 and so only remnants of this period remain. Artifacts from the Mamluk period are also on display including jewelry and weaponry as well as coins. The Azem palace room is a reconstruction of a single room from the original palace. Other special rooms are dedicated to wood carvings and furniture, pottery, ceramics and Koranic manuscripts. The Islamic civilization is famous for its rich heritage and artistry and the museum showcases these well.
Timings: Wednesday- Monday 8 A.M- 6 P.M (April- Sept) 8 A.M- 4 P.M (Oct- March)
Admission: Adults: 300 SYP, Students: 15 SYP
Address: Sharia Shukri al Quwatli, Central Damascus