Qasr al-Hayr al-Sharqi

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Qasr al-Hayr al-Sharqi
قصر الحير الشرقي
Qasr al-Hayr al-Sharqi.jpg
The palace Qasr al-Hayr al-Sharqi
Qasr al-Hayr al-Sharqi is located in Syria
Qasr al-Hayr al-Sharqi
Location within Syria
General information
Town or cityHoms Governorate
Coordinates35°04′26″N 39°04′16″E / 35.073889°N 39.071111°E / 35.073889; 39.071111
Technical details

Qasr al-Hayr al-Sharqi (Arabic: قصر الحير الشرقي‎, lit. 'Eastern al-Hayr Palace or the "Eastern Castle"') is a castle (qasr) in the middle of the Syrian Desert. It was built by the Umayyad caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik in 728-29 CE in an area rich in desert fauna.[1] It was apparently used as a military and hunting outpost.[2] The palace is the counterpart of Qasr al-Hayr al-Gharbi, a nearby castle palace built one year earlier.[1]


Qasr al-Hayr al-Sharq is 27 kilometres (17 mi) from Al-Sukhnah and 100 kilometres (62 mi) from Sergiopolis (Rusafa), near Bishri Mountain near Palmyran Middle Mountains.

Syrian Civil War[edit]

During Syria Civil War, Qasr al-Hayr al-Sharqi was captured by armed groups in 2013, then by ISIS. The Castle have been damaged by looting and vandalism. The visitor house has been burgled.[3] The Syrian Army recaptured the castle on 22 August 2017.[4] ISIS recaptured the castle again on 30 September 2017.[5]


Like other Umayyad architectural works, the construction style was influenced by Byzantine and Sasanian architectures.[6]

The palace consists of a large open courtyard surrounded by thick bulwarks and towers guarding the entrances as well as each corner.[7] The palace consists of two square structures, one with a diameter of 300m and the other of 100 metres (330 ft). The palace(s) contains remnants of rooms, arches and columns which seem to be parts of a huge royal complex. Some of the decorated parts have been moved to the National Museum of Damascus while the gate has been reconstructed in the Deir ez-Zor Museum.[8]

The bigger palace has been several floors, with a huge gate and many towers. Towers were not built as defensive measures. There were also olive yards. The palaces were supplied with water by nearby Byzantine church by a canal 5,700 metres (6,200 yd) long. The palaces contained bathrooms, water reservoirs, mosques and gardens.

World Heritage Status[edit]

This site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on June 8, 1999 in the Cultural category.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Constable, O.R. (2003). Housing the Stranger in the Mediterranean World: Lodging, Trade, and Travel in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 56. ISBN 0-521-81918-0.
  2. ^ Un Château du désert: Qasr al-Hayr ach-Charqi - UNESCO World Heritage Centre Archived February 13, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ A desert Castle: Qasr al-Hayr ach-Charqi (UNESCO)
  4. ^ @watanisy (22 August 2017). "tigers captured Qasr al-Hayr al-Sharqi" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  5. ^ "Overview Of Battle For Deir Ezzor On September 30, 2017 (Maps)". 30 September 2017. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  7. ^ Un Château du désert : Qasr al-Hayr ach-Charqi - UNESCO World Heritage Centre Archived February 13, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Bonatz, Dominik; Kühne, Hartmut; Mahmoud, As'ad (1998). Rivers and steppes. Cultural heritage and environment of the Syrian Jezireh. Catalogue to the Museum of Deir ez-Zor. Damascus: Ministry of Culture. OCLC 638775287.
  9. ^ "Un Château du désert: Qasr al-Hayr ach-Charqi - UNESCO World Heritage Centre". Archived from the original on 13 February 2009. Retrieved 4 March 2009.

Coordinates: 35°4′26″N 39°4′16″E / 35.07389°N 39.07111°E / 35.07389; 39.07111