During his reign from 527 to 565, the Byzantinian emperor Justinian
fortified the town that Queen Zenobia from Palmyra had originally built to
protect her empire against the Persians advancing from beyond the Euphrates.
The solid gypsum walls of its fortress form a triangle: the basis
touches the Euphrates and the two sides culminate in a citadel.
Isolated from other colonies, the city escaped the sack of its magnificent
walls and thus remained one of the best preserved and most interesting
cities in Syria.