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Palmyra

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Palmyra - also named "Queen of the Desert" or "Bird of the Desert" - is an oasis in central Syria and served in the antiquity as emporium for silk, gold, incense, and valuable spices from the East. Thanks to its central situation between Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean Sea, Palmyra was a large emporium and an important caravan city.

The city's impressing ruins testify its former wealth. Excavations showed that since the Palaeolithic (40.000 - 10.000 BC) a city existed. Initially, it was inhabited by Kanaanaeans, then by Aramaeans. The Romans followed in the first century AD and in 636, Palmyra was taken by Islamic Arabs under their general Khalid Ibn al-Walid.

Ruins are astonishingly well preserved giving an impression of the city's former importance. But also outside the city you can't stop marveling. In the Valley of the Tombs, there are three sorts of tombs: tower tombs, family tombs under the earth, and temple tombs; they can all be visited.

They are all in excellent condition. Highlights of the ruin city are the temple of Baal Shamin, the temple of Nebo, the colonnade road, the Roman Theatre, the Forum, the Hadrian gate and the Diocletian Thermal Springs as well as outside the city, the Valley of the Tombs, the museum, the Ibn Maan castle.

In Palmyra, the rebellious Queen Zenobia became famous who struggled against the Romans and transformed the city-state Palmyra for a short period into a mighty empire.

Hint: When the last sun rays of the day bath the ruin city in a golden light, you should best stay on the medieval Arab fortress Ibn Maan overlooking the city. From there, you will enjoy an unforgettable view over the desert, the oasis, and the ruins.

 

 

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