Al-Nofara Cafe is a history filled with memories

Al-Nofara café is the memory of Damascus, a city which has many stories with cafes dating back to the nineteenth century AD.  These cafes were customized according to their customers, for example there are cafes for craftsmen and others for merchants but the most famous are the cafes that are visited by intellectuals, artists and writers.

Al-Nofara Café, in the center of old Damascus, is full of life and bustle that attracts a large number of visitors due to its heritage, preservation of its features without any change as well as its unique location in the old city.

In order to reach al-Nofara, you must pass Al-Hamidiya market to see the shops that spread throughout it and the various exhibits of clothes, furniture, perfumeries, and sweets. Once you are exhausted from walking in the market and tired of shopping, you find at the bottom of the stairs al- Nofara Cafe to take rest in it.

According to the historical researcher Ghassan Kallass, the café, which dates back to more than 500 years, is known for being crowded. What distinguishes this café is its famous three thresholds and porches as well as its view of the Umayyad Mosque.

The inner hall can accommodate 24 tables, each of which seats four people, while the external hall accommodates 12 tables, on each sits one and is preferred by visitors who enjoy watching the passersby and those wishing to visit Umayyad Mosque.

Al- Nofara Café overlooks one of the main gates of Umayyad Mosque and is historically characterized with a fountain that used to flow and bubble when Yazid River (a branch of Barada) used to pass from there.

Kallas said that one of the most beautiful characteristic of the ancient Nufara café is its preservation on the old tradition of the storyteller, as people gather at night to enjoy the narrated stories. 

The historical sources referred to the cafes in Damascus in the last quarter of the nineteenth century that used to number from 110 to 120 cafes, but most of them no longer exist or have changed their commercial activities.


Inas Abdulkareem