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Damascus Now

 
About Syria
 
 
About Syria
   
Damascus

Syria’s capital and the world’s oldest continuously inhabited city. It has been under variable rules through the ages; Aramean, Byzantine, Roman, and Arabian. This city was once the capital of an empire which stretched from Indus to the Pyrnees. Damascus is very rich in its archeological sites; the Omayad mosque, the old city with all its contents, the national museum where there is a superb collection from the Islamic art and other.

 
Aleppo

Famous for its ancient citadel with its medieval fortress and the extraordinary souqs with every conceivable kind of article for sale . It’s also the second largest city in Syria. It was and still is the far distant trade center when Shakespeare mentioned it in Macbeth and Othello. Tourists will have the opportunity to visit the Grand and the magnificent mosques, the Turkish bath, Ancient City walls with its 5gates (used until now).

 
  Bosra

A black Basalt city with the largest Roman amphitheater in the whole world, and the substantial Christian remains. It became one of the leading Nabatean cities before becoming the capital of the Roman province of Arabia in 106 A.D.

 
Sydnaya

It was built by the Byzantine emperor Justinian on an impressive rocky hill. It contains one of the four paintings of the Blessed Virgin attributed to Saint Luke the evangelist.

  Maaloula

The honeycomb village built on a very capricious rocky slope, an altitude of 1625 m. It is the only place left where the inhabitants still speak Aramaic; the language spoken by Jesus.

 
Apamea

(2400-1600 B.C.)It was a powerful and a major city in the early Bronze Age after 1800 BC. It began to decline and finally disappeared from history until the early sixties and over 15,000 cuneiform clay tablets were dug up.

 
  Mari

An ancient and important city on the western bank of the Euphrates that goes back to the third millennium B.C. Was occupied by the Akkadians, Sumerians, Amarites, and was destroyed in about 1760 B.C. by Hammorabi.

 
Ugarit (Ra'as Shamra)

(1600-1300 B.C.)Due to the relations between the kings of Ugarite and the Egyptians, where the first alphabet was invented bearing 30 signs only dating from 1400 B.C.

 
  St. Simion

The most famous and dramatic of the dead cities; the hermit St. Simion settled here in 412 A.D., he obtained permission to live on top of a pillar and he did for nearly 42 years surrounded by pilgrims. The basilica was built in the second half of the 5th century.


Qalb Lozeh

One of the dead cities where stands one of the loveliest ruined churches in Syria. The three aisled basilicas with a narthex stands in a wild setting and probably dates from the middle of the 6th century.


  Palmyra (Tadmor)

The desert capital of Queen Zenobia (267-272 A.D.) where the emperor Aurelian himself led an expedition and took Zenobia as a prisoner to Rome. In the following year the Romans destroyed Palmyra then the city gradually became deserted. The earliest surviving building is the temple of Bel 32 A.D., the great colonnade triumphal arch, museum and the Necropoils.

Krak Des Chevaliers

The best preserved of all Crusader castles on a magnificent site looking down towards the Mediterranean. It was built in 1031 as an Arab fortress. The Crusaders held it from 1110 till 1271 when a four years siege by the Mamelukes ended the Crusaders' occupation.

 
  Dura Europos

Was founded by Alexander’s Lieutenant, Nicator. It was occupied by the Parathions then by the Romans. The town closely linked with Palmyra which it served as an important forward line of defense against the Persians. It was captured and destroyed by the Sassiness in 256 A.D. shortly before the fall of the great Syrian Metropolis itself.

 
Shahba (Philipapolis)

Founded by Philip the Arabian (Roman Emperor 232-237). Famous for its Mosaics and monuments from 3rd century A.D.

 
  Lattakia

Syria’s busiest and most modern port. In the Hellenistic period Seleugus gave it the name of Laodicia Admare in honor of his mother, the Crusaders called it La.Lighe. Unfortunately there are no reminiscence from its ancient or Crusader history.


Qanawat

The Roman ruins of ancient Kanata are most impressive and richly decorated especially the temple of Zeus (2nd century) and some early Christian buildings.


  Dead Cities

Many ruined churches belonging to the period of early Christianity (4th to 6th century) have been left abandoned since the Arab conquest. Those are of great interest to tourists and attest to the high standard of Syrian civilization. At this period many architectural elements seem to forecast Romanesque in the west.

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