Azem Ecole information
Lonely Planet review
Built in 1770 by a member of the Azem family (successive generations of whom governed Damascus from 1725 to 1809), Azem Ecole is a former madrassa and a gem of urban Ottoman architecture. It has a beautiful little courtyard, hemmed in by a delicate three-storey gallery, the upper floor of which is wood. Currently it houses a souvenir store that has some stunning stuff, including Bedouin jewellery, silk brocades and brass. Staff can be a little pushy and prices a little high; it's best for those who've honed their bargaining skills.