Aleppo is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world perhaps as early as the 6th millennium BC.The city's significance in history h…moreAleppo is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world perhaps as early as the 6th millennium BC.The city's significance in history has been its location at the end of the Silk Road, which passed through central Asia and Mesopotamia. When the Suez Canal was inaugurated in 1869, trade was diverted to sea and Aleppo began its slow decline. At the fall of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, Aleppo ceded its northern hinterland to modern Turkeyl. Then in the 1940s it lost its main access to the sea, Antioch and Alexandretta (Iskenderun), also to Turkey. Finally, the isolation of Syria in the past few decades further exacerbated the situation, although perhaps it is this very decline that has helped to preserve the old city of Aleppo, its medieval architecture and traditional heritage. Until recently, Aleppo had been experiencing a noticeable revival and was slowly returning to the spotlight. It recently won the title of the "Islamic Capital of Culture 2006", and has also witnessed a wave of successful restorations of its historic landmarks.
The most significant historic buildings of the ancient city include:
The Citadel, a large fortress built atop a huge, partially artificial mound rising 50 m above the city, dates back to the first millennium BC. the great Umayyad mosque, and the extraordinary souqs .
The old city of Aleppo has been named a Unesco World Heritage site. less
Tartus goes back to the 2nd millennium BC.
The Crusaders occupied it in the 12th century, called it Tortosa and made it an important center of the…more Tartus goes back to the 2nd millennium BC.
The Crusaders occupied it in the 12th century, called it Tortosa and made it an important center of the Crusades.
Today it is an important commercial and military port.
Tartus is the last Russian military base outside the former Soviet Union.
Arwad is the only inhabited island in Syria. and is located 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from Tartus,
The island was settled in the early 2nd millennium BC by the Phoenicians. Its inhabitants are mentioned in the early lists of Genesis and Ezekiel.
During the later part of the 13th century, the Crusades built a fortress on the island which was used as a or staging area for battle. less
Palmyra was an ancient city in central Syria located in an oasis in the Syrian desert, north-east of Damascus and of the most important cultural cen…morePalmyra was an ancient city in central Syria located in an oasis in the Syrian desert, north-east of Damascus and of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world.
First mentioned in the archives of Mari in the 2nd millennium BC, Palmyra was an established caravan oasis when it came under Roman control in the mid-first century AD as part of the Roman province of Syria. It grew steadily in importance as a city on the trade route linking Persia, India and China with the Roman Empire, marking the crossroads of several civilisations in the ancient world. A grand, colonnaded street of 1100 metres' length forms the monumental axis of the city, which together with secondary colonnaded cross streets links the major public monuments including the Temple of Ba'al, Diocletian's Camp, the Agora, Theatre, other temples and urban quarters.
The Arab castle built 1,000 years after the Romans overlooks the town. less
The Umayyad Mosque, also known as the Great Mosque of Damascus is one of the largest and oldest mosques in the world. It is considered the fourth-ho…moreThe Umayyad Mosque, also known as the Great Mosque of Damascus is one of the largest and oldest mosques in the world. It is considered the fourth-holiest place in Islam.
After the Arab conquest of Damascus in 634, the mosque was built on the site of a Christian basilica dedicated to John the Baptist. The mosque holds a shrine which today may still contain the head of John the Baptist, honored as a prophet by both Christians and Muslims alike, and is believed to be the place where Isa (Jesus) will return at the End of Days.
The tomb of Saladin stands in a small garden adjoining the north wall of the mosque and holds the resting place and grave of the medieval Kurdish Ayyubid Sultan Saladin. The mausoleum was built in 1196, three years after the death of Saladin.
Al-Adiliyah Madrasa, a madrasah or religious school founded in 1215 by Sultan Al-Adil I. He was buried in the school. The madrasa is considered an important example of Ayyubid architecture in Syria.
The Old City of Damascus is a Unesco World Heritage Site.
The Citadel of Damascus is a large medieval fortified palace and. It is part of the Ancient City of Damascus, which was listed as a UNESCO World Heri…moreThe Citadel of Damascus is a large medieval fortified palace and. It is part of the Ancient City of Damascus, which was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.
The location of the current citadel was first fortified in 1076 by the Turkman warlord Atsiz bin Uvak,During this period, the citadel and the city were besieged several times by Crusader and Muslim armies. In 1174, the citadel was captured by Saladin, who made it his residence .
Al-Hamidiyah Souq is the largest and the central souk in Syria, located inside the old walled city of Damascus next to the Citadel.
Khan As'ad Pasha is the largest khan in the Old City of Damascus, covering an area of 2,500 square metres (27,000 sq ft). Situated along Al-Buzuriyah Souq, it was built and named after As'ad Pasha al-Azm, the governor of Damascus, in 1751-52. Khan As'ad Pasha has been described as the most "ambitious" work of architecture in the city. Throughout the Ottoman era, it hosted caravans coming from Baghdad, Mosul, Aleppo, Beirut and elsewhere in the Middle East. less