Qasr al-Hayr al-Gharbi is the western of the two famous Umayyad palaces built to the east and west of Palmyra. This palace was built on the site of an earlier building and the stone tower still extant from that earlier phase has an inscription suggesting that it may have been part of a C6th monastery complex. The Qasr ("little castle") was built of mud brick, field stone and bricks and the whole was covered with a layer of stucco. The façade was covered with stucco decoration that was excavated from the site in the early C20th and reconstructed in Damascus as the façade of the National Museum. The frescoes and a number of stucco figurative three dimensional sculptures taken from the site are now on display in the National Museum.
Hammam Abu Rabah gets its name because sulphurous steam rises from underground at the site and rooms have been built to harness this steam for use as a sauna. To the west of the "baths" is a substantial medieval ruin, possibly of a Khan/Caravanserai.