The Atabegs and Ayyubids
Court Life
‘Palaces were filled with sumptuous carpets, fine metalwork and glass vessels.’
Following his capture of Damascus in 547 / 1154, Nur al-Din Mahmud bin Zangi united Syria and many of the cities became political, economic and cultural centres each with its own thriving court life. The Atabegs and Ayyubids were dedicated patrons of architecture, restoring city walls and citadels, commissioning new madrasas, bimaristans, hammams, suqs (markets) and mosques. Palaces were furnished with sumptuous carpets, fine metalwork and glass vessels.
Madrasa al-Shamiyya

Hegira 576–616 / AD 1180–1220
Damascus, Syria
A considerable number of noblewomen of the Ayyubid court were notable patrons of architecture, particularly madrasas. This one was built by Saladin's sister, who was known as Sitt al-Sham.