Beit al-Aqad is a meticulously restored Damascene house located in the old town of historic Damascus. It was originally owned by a prosperous family of textile merchants. Today, the house serves as the home of the Danish Institute, which was established in 2000 with a primary focus on the study of Arab and Islamic culture. Additionally, the Danish Institute works towards strengthening cultural ties between Denmark and the Arab world.
The historical significance of Beit al-Aqad is notable, with elements of the residence dating back to the Roman period. One notable feature is the theater built by Herod the Great, which forms part of the building’s outer walls. The majority of the present construction, however, belongs to the Mamluk and Ottoman periods, showcasing the architectural styles and influences of those eras.
As with many traditional Damascene houses, the central focal point of Beit al-Aqad is a spacious rectangular courtyard adorned with a central fountain. This courtyard layout is a characteristic feature of Damascene architecture. On the northern end of the courtyard, visitors can admire a striking façade embellished with Mamluk-era stone decorations. Behind this façade lies an impressive summer reception hall with lofty ceilings and an interior fountain, adding to its grandeur. The southern end of the courtyard features a large iwan, an architectural element commonly found in Islamic design, which dates back to the late 15th century. In the southeastern corner, there is a winter reception hall constructed in the 18th century. The rooms on the western and eastern sides of the courtyard are more recent additions, originating from the late Ottoman period.
Beit al-Aqad warmly welcomes visitors, offering free admission throughout the day. Alongside its role as an open cultural site, it frequently hosts various cultural events, further promoting and celebrating Arab and Islamic culture
Beit al-Aqad is situated in the western part of the historic city of Damascus. Its entrance can be found on the southern side of a small street that runs parallel to Madhat Basha Market, just south of it. The location is approximately one hundred and fifty meters southwest of Khan Assad Basha.