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Encyclopedia > Grand Serail

Coordinates: 33°53′45″N, 35°30′2″E Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...

the Grand Serail in the early 1900s
Old times Beirut


The Grand Serail (Arabic: السراي الكبير; also known as the Government Palace) is the headquarters of the Prime Minister of Lebanon. It is situated atop a hill in downtown Beirut a few blocks away from the Lebanese Parliament. The Grand Serail is a historic building, the most important of three Ottoman monuments on the Serail hill. The other two are the Council for Development and Reconstruction and the Hamidiyyeh clock tower. This historic building has earned its importance through successive roles which it held since 1832[1] Arabic can mean: From or related to Arabia From or related to the Arabs The Arabic language; see also Arabic grammar The Arabic alphabet, used for expressing the languages of Arabic, Persian, Malay ( Jawi), Kurdish, Panjabi, Pashto, Sindhi and Urdu, among others. ... This page lists prime ministers of Lebanon. ... This article is about the Lebanese city. ... ...

Contents

History

The Barracks

the Serail Hill

After its short-lived victory over the Ottomans in 1831, an Egyptian military contingent took position and set up its barracks on the western side of a hill overlooking Beirut and outside it's walls.[1] Ibrahim Pasha selected this hill for military reasons. It was a high hill overlooking Suq-al Munajjidin (the weavers bazaar), this Suq, known today as the banks street (shari' al Massarif), was located on a strategic area within downtown Beirut, and close to Tal'at al Amrican (American Hill), near Bab Yaacub (Jacob's Gate). In his book "Taqwim al Ikbal" Sheik Abdel Basit al Unsi describes that hill as being well situated, west of the city, away from the population and oversees the sea and Beirut. Thus because of its situation, it allows the contingent to control the city and its suburbs. While the Egyptians were on that hill, the people customarily referred to it as the "Al Thakanat" (the barracks) because it was the lodging place that was selected by Ibrahim Pasha for his troops.[2] Leopold I 1831 (MDCCCXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... This article is about the Lebanese city. ... This article is about the Lebanese city. ...


The Garrison

north gate

In 1840, the Ottoman Empire with the support of the Prussian, Russian, and English navies, recaptured authority over Syria. The Ottoman military authority took interest in the hill overlooking Beirut and set up a military base there. The building was first used as the headquarters of military and civilian departments and then, after its expansion, it turned into the headquarters of Ottoman governors. The Beirutis referred to it then as al Quishleh (modern Turkish: Kışla), a Turkish word for "the Garisson" or "soldiers quarter".
Until 1856 the Grand Serail only consisted of a single floor, another floor was added and the ground floor then served as the cavalry stables. Between 1877 and 1894 major structural modifications were made which gave the Serail its final form.[2] 1840 is a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Motto دولت ابد مدت Devlet-i Ebed-müddet (The Eternal State) Anthem Ottoman imperial anthem Borders in 1683, see: list of territories Capital Söğüt (1299–1326) Bursa (1326–1365) Edirne (1365–1453) Ä°stanbul (1453–1922) Government Monarchy Sultans  - 1281–1326 (first) Osman I  - 1918–22 (last) Mehmed VI Grand Viziers  - 1320... The national name Prussia (in Prussian: Prusa, German: Preußen, Polish: Prusy, Lithuanian Prusai, Latin: Prussia or Borussia) was used by a wide variety of political factions during the 2nd millennium. ... Motto دولت ابد مدت Devlet-i Ebed-müddet (The Eternal State) Anthem Ottoman imperial anthem Borders in 1683, see: list of territories Capital Söğüt (1299–1326) Bursa (1326–1365) Edirne (1365–1453) Ä°stanbul (1453–1922) Government Monarchy Sultans  - 1281–1326 (first) Osman I  - 1918–22 (last) Mehmed VI Grand Viziers  - 1320...


The Hospital and the Courthouse

Sultan Abdul Aziz (ruled 1861-1876) ordered the building of a hospital (Hastahane in Turkish, usually shortened to Hastane in current modern Turkish), which was built in 1865, people referred to it as the military infirmary. The hospital building included two wings. Its northern wing housed a drugstore (ajzah). When the French entered the city in 1918, they turned the hospital into a courthouse. Later the courthouse was moved to another location and the building became the Institute of Fine Art of the Lebanese University. however the war that raged through Beirut destroyed most parts of the courthouse and turned them into ruins until prime minister Rafik Hariri donated the sum needed for its reconstruction and renovation. Since its inauguration in 1992, the building serves as the headquarters of the Council for Development and Reconstruction.[2] Abdul Aziz is a common Muslim male name. ... 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ... The Lebanese University is the only public university in Lebanon. ... Rafik Bahaeddine Al-Hariri — (November 1, 1944 – February 14, 2005), (Arabic: ) a self-made billionaire and business tycoon, was Prime Minister of Lebanon from 1992 to 1998 and again from 2000 until his resignation on 20 October 2004. ...


The Hamidiyyah Clock Tower

In 1897, a clock tower was built near the Grand Serail to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Sultan Abdul Hamid II's coronation. Two other similar clocks were set in Tripoli and in Haifa. The Hamidiyyah Clock Tower was designed by Youssef Aftimus,[3] and restored in 1994 to its original condition. [2] 1897 (MDCCCXCVII) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Abdülhamid II (Ottoman Turkish: عبد الحميد ثانی , Turkish: ) (September 21, 1842 – February 10, 1918) was the 34th sultan of the Ottoman Empire. ... Tripoli (Arabic: طرابلس Tarābulus) is the capital city of Libya. ... Hebrew Arabic حَيْفَا Government City District Haifa Population 266,300 (city) 1,039,000 (metropolitan area) Jurisdiction 63,666 dunams (63. ...


The High Commission

In 1918 after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World war one, the Flag of the Arab Revolt was briefly hoisted over the Grand Serail until the arrival of the allied forces who entered Lebanon by land and from the sea and occupied Beirut and the entire Lebanese coast in October 8 1918. French colonel Depiepape was appointed by the commander of the allied forces General Allenby, he took control of the grand Serail and became the military governor of the country. With the removal of the Flag of the Arab Revolt, the Grand Serail was turned into the headquarters of the French Governor, who was granted the title of high commissioner of the French Government in the Levant. From then on the Grand Serail was referred to as the High Commission. In 1926 the French introduced changes to the northern facade of the Grand Serail. Thus a lobed arch balcony above the decorated entrance replaced the northern arched gate , which was moved to the southern entrance. The new balcony became a loggia for high commissioners and prime ministers' speeches. The French also removed a crown from over the arch of the northern entrance because it contained an engraved marble tablet showing the symbol of the Ottoman Empire.[2] Motto دولت ابد مدت Devlet-i Ebed-müddet (The Eternal State) Anthem Ottoman imperial anthem Borders in 1683, see: list of territories Capital Söğüt (1299–1326) Bursa (1326–1365) Edirne (1365–1453) Ä°stanbul (1453–1922) Government Monarchy Sultans  - 1281–1326 (first) Osman I  - 1918–22 (last) Mehmed VI Grand Viziers  - 1320... Map of the World showing the participants in World War I. Those fighting on the Allies side (at one point or another) are depicted in green, the Central Powers in orange, and neutral countries in gray. ... This article is about the Lebanese city. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The French Mandate of Lebanon was a League of Nations Mandate created at the end of World War I. When the Ottoman Empire was split by the Treaty of Versailles, four mandate territories were created, with the rest of the territory, aside from Turkey, being placed under monarchies. ... The Levant The Levant (IPA: ) is an imprecise geographical term historically referring to a large area in the Middle East south of the Taurus Mountains, bounded by the Mediterranean Sea on the west, and by the northern Arabian Desert and Upper Mesopotamia to the east. ... Motto دولت ابد مدت Devlet-i Ebed-müddet (The Eternal State) Anthem Ottoman imperial anthem Borders in 1683, see: list of territories Capital Söğüt (1299–1326) Bursa (1326–1365) Edirne (1365–1453) Ä°stanbul (1453–1922) Government Monarchy Sultans  - 1281–1326 (first) Osman I  - 1918–22 (last) Mehmed VI Grand Viziers  - 1320...


The Presidential Headquarter

Sheik Bechara El Khoury, who was the first post-independence President of Lebanon, holding office from 21 September 1943 to 18 September 1952, turned the Serail into the presidential headquarters before moving it to the Qantari Palace in Beirut. Bechara El Khoury Bechara El Khoury (1890-1 January 1964) was the first post-independence President of Lebanon, holding office from 21 September 1943 to 18 September 1952, apart from an 11-day interruption (11-22 November) in 1943. ... This article is about the Lebanese city. ...


The Prime Minister's Headquarters

The Grand Serail became the headquarters of the Lebanese prime minister Riad as-Solh who was the first Prime Minister of Lebanon (1943–1945), after the country's independence and has been used as the Prime Minister's headquarters ever since. [2] A statue of Riad as-Solh stands in Beiruts Downtown district Riad as-Solh (1894 - 1951) (Arabic: رياض الصلح) was the first Prime Minister of Lebanon (1943–1945), after the countrys independence. ...


Architecture and Renovation

Coutyard and Fountain


Particularly hit during the civil war, the Serail was a scarred site at the end of the hostilities. Its renovation to its present state of grandeur is a symbol of the vision and challenge involved in the BCD reconstruction. Restoration was completed in 900 work days.
Today, the Grand Serail is a blend of heritage architecture with a modern interior and high-tech amenities. A faithful adaptation of the original Ottoman structure resulted in a larger, more functional building. The external walls were completely restored and stone from demolished buildings was used in the additional floor, thereby preserving a homogeneous facade. All contracting and handicrafts, including stone, marble, steel or carpentry works, were carried out by Lebanese firms. The Serail covers 39,700 sq. m of floor space. The Grand Serail's four wings are disposed around a large courtyard which flanked at the center by a limestone and Carrera marble fountain. Both the exterior and interior facades are covered by a total of 588 arches and arcades (282 lobes arches, 197 pointed arches, 6 rounded arches, 11 mandolin arches, 92 pointed arcades). The north gate is constitutes the central structural element of the four facades. It is eleven meters high and seven meters in width and was inspired by the Beiteddine Palace's gates. In the middle of entrance's arch a marble tablet was inscribed under the request pf prime minister Rafik Hariri which reads: "لو دامت لغيرك لما اتصلت إليك " which vaguely translates:"If _political_ rule lasts perpetually for anyone, it would not have reached you". The two upper floors comprise the Prime Minister's residence and office, offices for his staff, as well as the cabinet room and ministers' offices. The ground floor consists of a banquet hall, two receptions areas, a press room and a courtyard. Finally, an underground level includes a car-park, offices and rooms for the personnel. In all the Grand Serail includes 430 rooms and chambers in addition to the quarters for the maintenance and other service rooms. [4] Statue in Martyr’s Square The Beirut Central District (BCD) is the name given Beirut’s historical and geographical core, the “vibrant financial, commercial, and administrative hub of the country. ... A court or courtyard is an enclosed area, often a space enclosed by a building that is open to the sky. ... Beiteddine Palace - Inner Courtyard Beiteddine Palace - Inner Courtyard Beiteddine Palace is a 19th century palace in Beiteddine, Lebanon. ... Rafik Bahaeddine Al-Hariri — (November 1, 1944 – February 14, 2005), (Arabic: ) a self-made billionaire and business tycoon, was Prime Minister of Lebanon from 1992 to 1998 and again from 2000 until his resignation on 20 October 2004. ...


References

External links

Lebanon Portal

 
 

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