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Things to do in Syria
Aleppo - explore the ancient city
The city of Aleppo has been developng for over 3,000 years and still contains and shows magnificent examples of Greek and Roman architecture, that has been preserved due to the nature of the climate. You can spend a week exploring the treasures of this ancient sector of the city, and still only see part of it. The walls around the city set the scene, and there is a beautiful mosque located near the centre.
Damascus - see the Umayyad Mosque
The Mosque in Damascus was built in 715, on the grounds of an old Christian church, and before that a Roman temple. Some of the original mosaics still exits and can be seen if you look carefully around. Tradition has it that the head of John the Baptist is also buried in the Mosque. The interior is filled with magnificent religious artifacts, as well as numerous statues and a magnificent chandelier.
Damascus - wander through Souk Al-Hamidiyeh
Damascus has been a centre for trade for centuries and its importance to the region cannot be understated. Much of this trading has taken place in Souk Al-Hamadiye. Much still remain the same today as little has changed, with many of the alleys in the souk still looking the same as they did over 200 years ago. In addition to the numerous stalls, the buildings of and around the souk are in themselves interesting. Look out for the stalls that have been serving coffee or ice cream since 1890 or take a relaxing massage.
Palmyra - walk around the ruins at Palmyra
Walking around the ruins at Palmyra is like taking a step back into historic times. There is so much preserved here, it is easy to imagine you are back in Roman times. The temple of Bel is particularly impressive, but the highlight of the site has to be the Colonnade of the Decumanus, which was once over 1.5km in length. A great site at daytime, but maybe good to go to at night, when it is cooler and when the whole site is transformed and lit by floodlighting.
Introduction of Syria
Situated along the Mediterranean Sea, Syria is a modern country with beautiful landscapes and a rich history. The capital Damascus is the region’s oldest city which has been continually occupied, as its first settlement dates back to 5000 BC. Damascus is an enticing blend of exciting bazaars, great restaurants and impressive monuments. The country’s second-largest city, Aleppo, is packed with traditional souks (markets), and has an interesting 12th-century citadel with a moat and two mosques. Palmyra travels even further back in history, with ruins from the 2nd century that include a castle, a huge courtyard and a theatre. Travellers should make time to visit the Krak des Chevaliers castle, which has been impeccably preserved since its construction 800 years ago.