Ain Dara





Al Bara




Deir Mar Musa

Dura Europos





Hosn Suleiman

Qala'at Jaber


Crac des Chevaliers



Marqab Castle





Saladins Castle

Tartus & Arwad



St. Simeon




It has been demonstrated that Damascus has been inhabited as early as by 5000 BC. Thus it is the oldest continuously inhabited city of the world. And all who lived or resided there left obvious traces: Amorites, Aramaeans, Assyrians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantinians, Umayyads, Ayyubids, Mamluks, crusaders, Ottomans, and the Frenchmen.

Where the fertile slopes of the Anti-Lebanon, whose fountains supply Damascus with water, and the dry and dusty desert meet, there is Damascus, a rich oasis once serving as natural junction for the trade of the silk road. Today, Damascus is the self-evident starting and end point of any Syria travel.

By night, Damascus is illuminated by a sea of lights. You should best enjoy it the local mountain named Qassiyun. The minarets of the mosques, clearly marked by green neon lights, evoke the city's importance in Islam.

The Umayyad Mosque, named after the first Islamic ruler dynasty, in the centre of the old city is one of the largest monuments of early Islam. At the same place, where now the mosque is, there were sacred buildings of other cultures, as early as in the second century BC.

First, there was a temple for the Semitic god Hudod, then for the Greek god Zeus, thereafter a temple for the god Jupiter adored by the Romans, and finally a Christian church dedicated to John the Baptist. For a certain time, Christians and Muslims even shared the same building.


Behind the walls of the old town of Damascus, there are innumerous worth-seeing things: the legendary "Straight Road" (Via Recta), mentioned in the Bible, crossing the old town it its entire length from east to west, or the Azm Palace, the former luxurious residence of the Ottoman governor; the Ananäis chapel where St. Paul was given shelter against the Romans.

Suq al-Hamidiyeh, the lively bazar, filling your senses with smells and colours; the mausoleum of Saladin, the great Islamic general, who freed Jerusalem from the crusaders, or Bab Tuma, the Christian part of the old town with its winding lanes and artisan shops.

Situated on the banks of the Barada, the Syrian National Museum invites visitors to admire the most beautiful archaeological findings of the country. Among them, you'll find a fragment of the clay tablet from Ugarit with the oldest known alphabet of the world, and a 1800 years old synagogue, which was transferred piece by piece from Dura Europos.

Very close to it, there is the Tekkiyeh Suleimaniyeh complex of buildings with a mosque constructed in Turkish style by one of the most ingenious architects of the Ottoman era, Sinan Pasha, and an artisan market, where visitors can look for mosaiques, jewelry, glassware or Orient carpets.





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