Zuqaq al-Blat

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Coordinates: 33°53′32″N 35°29′54″E / 33.89222°N 35.49833°E / 33.89222; 35.49833

Location of the Zuqaq al-Blat quarter within Beirut

Zuqaq al-Blat (Arabic: زقاق البلاط‎) is one of the twelve quarters of Beirut.[1]

Etymology[edit]

Zoqaq al-Blat literally means "the cobbled alley", this was a colloquial name given to the street extending from the old city to the Qantari hill and which was covered with cobblestones in the 19th century.[2]

Zuqaq al-Blat is also commonly called "al-Batrakieh" (Arabic: البطركية‎, the Patriarchate) due to the presence of the seat of the Greek Catholic Patriarchate of Beirut within its borders.[3]

History[edit]

Once a medieval walled port town, Beirut experienced rapid growth during the second half of the 19th century; the overcrowded city developed beyond its walls and the affluent citizens started to build their villas on the slopes of the surrounding hills, namely Ashrafieh, Qnatari and Musaytbeh.[4][5]

In 1832 Beirut came under the occupation of Ibrahim Pasha's troops. The new Egyptian authorities undertook grand works of urban planning and sanitation. The appointed Egyptian-Circassian governor of Beirut, Mahmoud Naami Bey commissioned street cobbling works which stretched beyond the city's walls, the street extending from the south-western side of the city wall into the new extramural neighborhoods on the Qantari hill came to be known as Zoqaq al-Blat and gave its name to the quarter.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hanssen, Jens (2005). Fin de Siècle Beirut: The Making of an Ottoman Provincial Capital. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0199281637. 
  2. ^ a b Kassir, Samir (2006). تاريخ بيروت (in Arabic). Beirut: Dar An-Nahar. ISBN 9953741018. 
  3. ^ زقاق البلاط (in Arabic). yabeyrouth.com. Retrieved February 14, 2013. 
  4. ^ ÖZTÜRK, PELİN KİHTİR (September 2006). "Urban transformation of ottoman port cities in the nineteenth century: Change from ottoman Beirut to French mandatory Beirut". Thesis submitted to the graduate school of social sciences of Middle East technical university. Middle East Technical University. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  5. ^ Kassir, Samir; M. B. DeBevoise (2010). Beirut. University of California Press. ISBN 0520256689.