Latest from Diana Darke
For years, I’ve been on an architectural odyssey, a quest for the origins of the zigzag. Curiosity was first sparked in 2005 after buying and restoring my Ottoman courtyard house in Damascus. Round all four courtyard walls, there was a distinctive decorative design — a trio of horizontal zigzags. My Syrian architect speculated it might be an ancient Mesopotamian pattern, but neither he, nor anyone else I asked, had any idea why it was chosen or what it signified.
Syrian monastic culture was extensive and influential, yet remains underappreciated, especially its effect on European Christianity, from architecture to music to religious practice. That same inspirational culture is under constant threat today, with destruction from aerial bombardment by Russian and Syrian forces.