Damaskuszimmer im Japanischen Palais
© Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Oliver Killig

Dialogue among guests – The Damaskuszimmer in Dresden invites!

Whether for drinking tea, reading, listening, lingering, discussing, or marveling, the new Damascus Room provides insights into Damascene hospitality in the 19th century as well as different public and private forms of hospitality worldwide.


  • Opening Hours daily 10—18, Monday closed (Damascus Room)
  • Admission Fees admission free
Intervention im Damaskuszimmer

Unter einem Himmel — von Mustern und anderen Wesen

Eintritt frei Learn more
Scattered Memory of Syria
© Qusay Awad 2023. All rights reserved.

Zum ersten Mal

For the first time in Dresden, the Damascus Room will be on display in its entirety in all its colorfulness and ornamental complexity. After 25 years of restoration, the current presentation provides insights into the richly decorated paneling with its cityscapes, bouquets of flowers, fruit bowls and Arabic inscriptions. In addition to the Damascene hospitality of the 19th century, the accompanying exhibition also highlights different public and private forms of hospitality worldwide, questioning their unconditionality. 


Library of excile im Japanischen Palais
© Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Oliver Killig

History of the Damascus Room

The wall and ceiling paneling, made around 1810/11, with its relief ornaments, metal leaf overlays and paintings, adorned the reception room for guests of a Damascus old town house until 1899. The elaborate decoration of the room, which consists of 113 individual pieces, makes it clear that the owners of the house invested a considerable sum in the decoration of the room. At the end of the 19th century, Karl Ernst Osthaus had the Damascus Room acquired in the then Ottoman Empire and transferred to Germany.

© SKD, Foto: Dario Laganà


Discovered in 1930 by an heir of the already deceased patron, the room, which had been disassembled into individual parts, was given to the Museum für Völkerkunde Dresden. The elements were stored in the depot for decades until 1997, when work began on conserving and restoring the packed boards. Repairs, transportation, and nearly 100 years of storage under sometimes poor conditions led to extensive detachment of the surface decoration. The paintings were also covered with dust, mold, newspaper, bird droppings and paint residue.

Der Erhalt

The preservation of the original inventory as well as restoration measures to restore the original appearance serve to show the richness of material culture in Syria. Since its dismantling in Damascus, the room has never been fully assembled and exhibited. After its completion here in Dresden, it will now be possible for the first time to enter it again in its original color and composition.

Detailaufnahme einer reich verzierten Holzvertäfelung
© Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden


Through various cooperation projects and interventions, the restoration workshop of the Damascus Room will in the future stimulate dialogue with visitors from different points of view.


You are invited to use the premises for your offers and projects: An open place of exchange and lived hospitality is created! Join us - come by, have a cup of tea and make yourself comfortable with us! Are you interested in using our rooms on a regular basis? Please contact Barbara Höffer at voelkerkunde.dresden@skd.museum 

© Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden

Weitere Ausstellungen

Further Exhibitions

Völkerkundemuseum Herrnhut

in Völkerkundemuseum Herrnhut

Buddha in einem Schrein

Grünes Gewölbe

in Residenzschloss

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