The old city of Ramallah dates back to the mid-16th century when it was mainly composed of rural dwellings and hosh: traditional houses that were composed of an inner courtyard surrounded by small rooms where the family resided and living spaces for extended family. They are characterized by unique colors coming from the extracted beige, pale brown and yellowish Palestinian stones. The windows and doors typically take the shape of an arch and the floors are often composed of decorated tiles. There are currently 381 traditional building in Ramallah forming 5% of the total number of buildings. The many different styles of architecture that can be witnessed throughout the old city demonstrate the different periods of occupation from the Romans to the Ottomans.
Many of the historic buildings have been rehabilitated and host cultural programs to revitalize the old city. One of the distinguished cultural programs offered by the Municipality of Ramallah is Mammarat, which aims at reactivating culture in the Old City of Ramallah around HoushQandah - a historical building that has been purchased, renovated and rehabilitated by the city and which is located in the historic heart of the old city of Ramallah.
The old city is a delightful place to spend an afternoon and a tour can be arranged through the TIC which will provide historical and cultural insights.