Already since Bronze Age earth-dwellers settled at the large oasis that is today known as Syrian capital. Already pharaohs like Thutmosis and Amenophis knew Damascus, one of the most continuously inhabited settlements on this planet. Not only the ancient Egyptians had the knowledge where Dimasq is as also two of the most important books worldwide, Bible and Quran, tell stories mentioning Aram-Damascus. Not only UNESCO knows about the Thousand and one Night vibe that is pretty much alive everywhere in Damascus old town, for example at the magnificent and globally unique Umayyad mosque. Damascus, pure orient!
Faith, believe and religion are most perceptible in Damascus. Western Europeans will surely immediately spot all the covered women, who are sometimes even completely shrouded in their burqas. In Damas you can meet the coexistence of about 30 different religions. Its adherents are peacefully living together.
To both, Christians and Muslims, the Syrian Crusader castle Krak des Chevaliers, or in Arabic Qal’at al-Hosn (قلعة الحصن), is one of the most important remnants of the time of the Crusades. For the fortification’s occupant Krak des Chevaliers guaranteed control and access to one of the most important trade channels used since ancient times, leading from the coast of Syria to the inland. Even in the currently ongoing Syrian civil war this UNESCO world heritage still provides protection and strategic benefits, what puts the fortification at the risk of military demolition
When having a look at the city of Hama (حماة) from space, then one can quickly spot Orontes River winding itself like green belt through Hama’s gaunt and desert-like vicinity. Ancestors took advantage of the river’s life-giving character and built an irrigation system having archaic pump stations in the form of giant wooden water wheels, so called Norias. Even today those ancient survivors of all times spread its fairytale vibe all over
From time immemorial the north Syrian city of Aleppo (حلب), the former Aramaic Halab, is a centre of trading. Today this glorious history is still pretty much alive at the Medina, the old town, where the fairytale bazar and the mighty citadel tell stories from ancient times. Though the city can be quite a bustle, in particular when it comes to traffic. Then the only quiet place is a hammam, where you can indulge yourself in the famous hand-scooped Aleppo soap
Some thousands of years ago already the mighty Romans appreciated the oasis of Palymra (تدمر), nowadays Syrian Tadmur, as a place amidst the desert to refuel mind, body and soul. They developed the oasis into becoming a city. When their empire collapsed they left us behind a place where the disappearing of an ancient power couldn’t be more alive. Palmyra’s unique historic charm easily matches the spirit of big wonders like the pyramids or rock-hewn city of Petra, in particular when the rising or setting desert sun stages the magnificent Tetrapylon