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Mosque Name: Hayr al Gharbi Qasr and Mosque

Country: Syria

City: Desert Castle

Year of construction (AH): 107 AH

Year of construction (AD): 726 AD

GPS: 34°20’39.77”N 37°35’3.67”E


Gibson Classification:: Between

Rebuilt facing Mecca: never


Qasr al-Gayr al-Gharbi is 37 miles west of Palmyra. It was constructed by the Umayyad caliph Hisham ibn ‘Abd al-Malik. The entire building is constructed with an orientation towards the Between position. The inhabitants of this Qasr, with all the farm labour and guests could all easily tell the Qibla direction as the entire Qasr faced the Between Qibla. An small internal mosque has been identified in the lower left corner of this palace by the identification of a mihrab niche. This was probably a small private prayer room accessible only through a series of other rooms, possibly reserved for women. Unfortunately, the building is in a state of ruin. This Qasr faces between Petra and Mecca. No external mosques have been identified from the other buildings, so it is assumed that prayer took place in the large central courtyard.

The Qibla directions

The Qibla directions


Schlumberger, Daniel, 1939. “Les fouilles de Qasr el-Heir el-Gharbi (1936-1938): Rapport préliminaire“, Syria 20(3): 195-238.

Genequand, Denis, 2012. Les établissements des élites omeyyades en Palmyrène et au Proche-Orient, Bibliothèque archéologique et historique 200, Beirut: IFPO, 170-171.

Schlumberger, Daniel, 1986. Qasr el-Heir el Gharbi: Texte et planches, Paris: Libr. Orientaliste Geuthner.

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