At Prayer in the Mosque, Damascus, Syria


This card from around 1908 depicts Muslim men at prayer in the Great Umayyad Mosque of Damascus (Jāmi' al-Umawī al-Kabīr). Constructed in the eighth century on the site of earlier places of worship, the mosque is a site of spiritual significance to both Sunni and Shi’a Muslims. It is also said to house the head of John the Baptist. The card is a “stereo view,” produced by the Stereo Travel Company of Corona, Long Island, New York, which was active in the early years of the 20th century. Popular with tourists at the time, stereo cards create the illusion of depth through the juxtaposition of two flat images. Two photographs are placed side-by-side and viewed through an instrument called a stereoscope. Each eye focuses on one image, creating a sense of three-dimensionality.

Last updated: September 29, 2014