Maktab Anbar – a Cultural Jewel of Damascus: Maktab Anbar, situated in the old city of Damascus, holds great historical significance as a remarkable residence spanning an impressive area of 3,825 square meters. Originally erected in the mid-19th century by Yousef Anbar, a Jewish merchant, the construction of this grand building faced financial obstacles, leading to its suspension in 1887. Consequently, in 1890, the government intervened and confiscated the property due to unpaid taxes. The incomplete project was then taken over by the Ottoman authorities, who finalized its construction and repurposed it as a school.
Over the years, Maktab Anbar gradually deteriorated and fell into a state of neglect until it was acquired by the Ministry of Culture in 1976. Recognizing its historical value, the ministry initiated an extensive restoration and renovation endeavour, aiming to preserve the authentic 19th-century essence of the residence by conducting thorough historical research and examining relevant documents. Today, Maktab Anbar stands proudly as a cultural centre, housing the offices of the Directorate of the Old City. It boasts an exhibition hall, library, and workshops.
Visiting Maktab Anbar allows you to step back in time and explore the luxurious lifestyle of the affluent Damascene society during the Ottoman era. The architecture of the mansion reflects a blend of traditional Arab and Ottoman influences, with intricately decorated rooms, courtyards, and a stunning central fountain.
As you wander through the mansion, you’ll encounter beautifully preserved reception halls, private chambers, and courtyards adorned with colourful tiles and exquisite woodwork. The interiors feature traditional Damascene furniture, textiles, and decorative arts, providing insight into the opulent lifestyle of the era.