Saving Syria’s Historic Bathhouses

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Architectural historians are ramping up efforts to restore Damascus’s historic bathhouses, which experts say are crumbling and in danger of disappearing altogether.

Ghazwan Yaghi, an expert on Islamic archaeology, believe only 17 communal baths are still opening in the Syrian capital. Once a centre for socialising, many of the estimated 200 bathhouses are in a state of disrepair and neglect.

“The role of the bathhouse has shrunk, and they have been under a lot of pressure, both architecturally and financially,” said Sarab Atasi, a researcher who heads the Old Damascus Studies Office at the French Institute of the Near East in Syria.

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