Beit as-Sibai

sights / Other

Lonely Planet review

Unseen behind the high walls within the Old City are hundreds of delightful houses built around courtyards and featuring their own elaborate decoration. Unfortunately, many of these treasures are in a sad state of disrepair, but a loop off Straight St takes in several examples, all of which have benefited from renovation.

Head south down Sharia Hassan Kharet and take the first left for Beit as-Sibai, built between 1769 and 1774, and beautifully restored. This splendid building is the sort of place you could imagine living in. In fact, for a time during the 1990s it served as the residence of the German ambassador. Now it's mostly used as a set for historical TV dramas and as an atmospheric venue for ministerial functions. Visitors are welcome to wander around.