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Aleppo housed

Homs

Maaloula

Sweida

GREAT TO KNOW
  1. According to the Book of Acts, Damascus was the city to which Saul of Tarsus was headed when he had a vision of Jesus. He was moved to convert to Christianity and changed his name to Paul. Damascus was also a center of the silk trade during the Middle Ages, leading to the term "damask" for a style of cloth weaving.

  2. In ancient times, Aleppo housed a significant Jewish community. The Aleppo Codex is believed to be one of the oldest copies of the Hebrew Bible.

  3. Homs was conquered by Alexander the Great. Archaeologists have uncovered signs that the first settlements in the city date to the Stone Age.

  4. Maaloula is in the Qalamoun mountains and is home to the monasteries of St. Sergius and St. Tekla. The name of the place means "entrance" in Aramaic. In fact, Aramaic is still the daily spoken language there.

  5. Sweida, the capital of Horan province, is known for its volcanic black basalt stone, commandeered by the soldiers of the Ottoman Empire for their own construction efforts.

  6. Ras Shamra, once known as Ugarit claims to be home to the oldest cuneiform alphabet in the world.

  7. After a long drive over the desert, the golden stones of Palmyra burst into view, etched against a cobalt sky. Two thousand years ago this oasis city grew fabulously rich, commanding the caravan routes to all points of the compass. Palmyrans were a very handsome people, if we are to believe the effigies displayed in the museum. The last ruler, the dazzling Queen Zenobia, is a movie subject in waiting. When she was toppled, the city fell into a decline. They've been piecing it together since it was rediscovered in the 1800s. You need a full day to do justice to the beautifully restored Temple of Bel and Valley of the Tombs.

  8. Close to Aleppo, the map is crammed with more than 700 'forgotten' towns. They went into a fairytale slumber about 1,300 years ago when their inhabitants left to find a better life. Spared earthquakes and invasions, the settlements, built from the local stone, survived remarkably well, as a jumble of basilicas, monasteries, villas and baths. Serjilla is the one to see, with its eerie scatter of robust stone structures from around 500 AD.

  9. The site of the Umayyad Mosque has always been holy. A shrine to the semitic sky god Hadad existed as far back as the 9th century BC; this was converted to a grand Roman temple to Jupiter. Remnants of the latter’s monumental gateways can still be seen, most notably in the great columns of the western temple gate before you enter the shade of the Souq al-Hamidiyya.

  10. Beautiful nature for hiking can be found in and around Kassab, Slenfeh and Qalaat Salah al-Din near Lattakia, as well as Mashta al-Helou and al-Sheikh Badr/Qalaat al-Kahf near Tartus.

DESTINATION FACTS

Capital: Damascus

Language: Arabic

Time Zone: EET (UTC+2), Summer EEST (UTC+3)

Currency: Syrian Pound (SYP)

Telephone codes: 963

Religion: Islam

Electricity: 220V/50Hz

 

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Syria

Syria has lots to offer, here is a quiz on ancient Iran one of the most fascinating civilizations in history

The golden stones of Palmyra

Serjilla




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