This is a historic government building from the Ottoman era. Today it is empty but plans are that it will one day become the city museum; part of the renovation work is already complete.
The Seraya ("palace" in Turkish), one of the most important and impressive buildings in the city, was built in about 1740 by the famous ruler of the Galilee, Daher el-Omar, as his personal home and a government building from which he could safeguard the Jezreel Valley. The building also included stables and prison cells. The portico floor was added in the middle of the nineteenth century, and a renaissance style watch tower was added at the beginning of the twentieth century.
When the building was erected there were no mosques in Nazareth, so el-Omar allocated a prayer room for Muslims in the Seraya, until the White Mosque was completed in 1812. After el-Omar's rule, and until the British Mandate, the building was the official residence of the governor of Nazareth District. Later, the Seraya became the seat of the city's government. Nazareth City Council was located in the building until 1991.
to the virtual tour