The Kaïsariyyeh

Dany Chamoun Square

 

The Kaïssariyyeh or Caesarea. The word Kaïssar means Emperor - hence the name Kaïssariyyeh.

 

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The Kaïssariyyeh or Caesarea. Built during the reign of the Emir Fakhreddine II in 1595 this closed public market place was originally intended to house shops trading in valuable goods such as precious stones and metals and especially silks. Because of their value, these goods were popularly classified as Imperial merchandise. The word Kaïssar means Emperor - hence the name Kaïssariyyeh.

A gallery of small arcades used by the various traders to sell their wares surrounds the rectangular courtyard with a rectangular water basin and fountain at its center.

On the south-facing wall, facing Emir Youssef Chehab’s palace, a sculpted archway opens onto a large alcove which was originally the main entrance to the building. This gave direct access to pedestrians from the “Midane” via a stairway to the Kaïssariyyeh.

The fires, which occurred during the events in 1841, destroyed a large area of this edifice. Recently restored, it now houses exhibitions and cultural events organized by the Town’s Initiative Committee during the summer “Estivales”, and also by the French Cultural Center. Here, one can gain access via a small stairway situated at the south-eastern angle of the central courtyard.

 

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