Sun 2012-08-26 06:55:23 Culture/Arts
Al Marjeh Square a historic monument in the heart of Damascus
Al Marjeh Square a historic monument in the heart of Damascus
also known as "Martyrs' Square" ( sāḥat ash-Shuhadā’) is a major square in downtown Damascus, Syria. The square was the central part of the city in the first half of the last century, before Damascus expanded further. Just outside of the old city, the square has came to play a vital integrative function as a geographic crossroads between the "old city," the colonial district, and the popular suburbs. The square houses the Syrian Ministry of Interior.
History
The Post Office building in Marjeh Square in 1890
The Ottomans first transformed the square into an administrative center in 1890. It later developed into a business and transport node and had by the beginning of the twentieth century become a cultural magnet The square also has national significance as it is where the Ottomans executed the Syrian nationalists on May 6, 1916 sparking the Arab revolt that ended the Ottoman rule over Syria. The square takes its official name (Martyrs' Square) from the events. In the center of the square stands a bronze colonnade erected by Sultan Abdul Hamid II to commemorate the opening of the first telegraphic link in the Middle East - the line between Damascus and Medina, and the opening of the Damascus terminal on the Hejaz railway. The monument has a replica statue of the Yıldız Mosque of Istanbul on top. The plate on the base of the colonnade is in Turkish, which used to be written in Arabic script. The architect of the Colonnade was the chief Ottoman architect Raimondo Tommaso D'Aronco.
Al Marjeh Square is in the center of Damascus, where a monument was erected in 1907. The square is also called the martyrs’ square, because six Syria heroes were executed by the butcher Jamal Pasha. The martyrs were:
-Abdul Hamed Al Zahrawi.
-Shafiq Al Mouwied.
-Abdul Wahhab Al Englizi.
-Shukri Al Ali.
-Prince Omar Al Jazari.
-Rafiq Rezeq Salloum.
-Naief Tello.
The monument is beautifully decorated, with a base of black basalt. At the top, there is a model of a small mosque. It was installed in the days of the Wali of Damascus, Hussein Nazem Pasha. This square always contains groups of wild doves that symbolized love and peace.
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