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  • 1 Jabal al-Druze Interesting

    Nature and gardens

    SYR - Shahba

    To the southeast of Damascus lie the volcanic regions of the Hauran and Jabal al-Druze. Their fertile soil has long made them Syria's bread basket, hence the presence of numerous Roman towns, including the renowned Bosra. Black basalt was used in bui..

  • 2 Church of St George Interesting

    Religious buildings

    SYR - Izraa

    This Greek Orthodox church dates from 1515 according to the inscribed lintel above the main east door. Unlike the basilica-type Byzantine churches of northern Syria, this is built to an octagonal plan within a square. The four corners are modelled as..

  • 3 Souweïda Museum Interesting

    Museums and art

    SYR - Souweïda

    Covering both archaeology and popular arts and traditions, this is an interesting museum, explaining the history of the Jabal al-Druze from prehistory to the present day. Among the artefacts from various excavations around the region, note the fine 3..

  • 4 Qanawat Seraglio Interesting

    Religious buildings

    SYR - Qanawat

    Two basilicas (5C-6C) comprise what is today known as the Qanawat Seraglio; visitors can see vestiges of earlier (2C) Roman buildings and get an idea of their function. Decorative elements on the theme of the vine bears witness to the importance of v..

  • 5 Eastern Quarter of Bosra Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    SYR - Bosra

    A visit to Bosra's eastern quarter brings alive the town's magnificent history, indeed that of the country, and the many civilisations that came and went. Among its monumental buildings are an arch with characteristic Nabataean decoration; a Roman th..

  • 6 Western Quarter of Bosra Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    SYR - Bosra

    As is the case with Bosra's eastern quarter, a visit here represents a trip back through Syrian history. The buildings of interest date mainly from the Roman and Mamluk periods. Among the former, note the Roman market and its nearby storerooms, plus ..

  • 7 Cathedral of Our Lady of Tortosa Interesting

    Religious buildings

    SYR - Tartous

    A visit to Tartus museum, exhibiting ancient artefacts excavated from the region's archaeological sites (Ugarit, Krak des Chevaliers, Amrit...) including a fine collection of sarcophagae, is also a chance to admire the interior of this cathedral buil..

  • 8 Ugarit Interesting

    Archaeological and historical sites

    SYR - Lattaquié

    Founded around 2000 BC by the Canaanites, ancient Ugarit was rebuilt in the 14C BC after a quake. Excavations have revealed several buildings from the period, giving information on the city's layout, and many objects now on show in the country's muse..

  • 9 Church of St Elian Interesting

    Religious buildings

    Rue Qasr al-Cheikh SYR - Homs

    The church has some fine 12C wall paintings, originally executed to adorn the crypt of St Elian, representing high at their centre Christ Pantocrator, with Mary and Mary Magdalene to His right and St John the Baptist with a figure believed to be St E..

  • 10 Old Town of Hama Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    SYR - Hama

    In addition to the venerable water wheels adding a refreshing air to the scene, Hama's old town has two remarkable religious buildings. The Al-Nouri Mosque with its sober bi-coloured minaret dates from the 12C, while the Great Mosque was entirely reb..

  • 11 Souk al-Hader al-Kabir Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    SYR - Hama

    A visit to this souk is a chance to see the farmers who come here each morning to sell their produce. The women's outfits are often very colourful, and their henna tattoos charged with symbolic meaning. The triangle adorning the forehead is there to ..

  • 12 Hama Archaeological Museum Interesting

    Museums and art

    SYR - Hama

    The museum displays artefacts excavated from the town's tell and the Ghab plain, covering the period from 6000 BC to the Byzantine Empire. Among its rich collections, note the magnificent Roman and Byzantine mosaics, fine examples of the decorative a..

  • 13 Qasr Ibn Wardan Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    SYR - Al Muntar

    Qasr Ibn Wardan's black and yellow ruins stand 100m from the road. The isolated location is explained by its purpose as a defensive site. It is one of many fortifications erected by the Emperor Justinian to protect the frontiers of Byzantium. Of the ..

  • 14 Misyaf Citadel Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    SYR - Missiaf

    This citadel at the heart of the village of Misyaf was originally Seleucid (3C-1C BC). During its tumultuous history, it has been a fief of the Assassins (1140-1270), an Islamic sect active in northwest Syria's Jebel Ansariyeh. This group actively tr..

  • 15 Hammam Yalbougha al-Nasiri Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    SYR - Alep

    To the right of the entrance to the citadel, between the new palace and the courts of justice, stands the striped façade of this 14C hammam, now superbly restored and open to the public. Its changing area is one of the largest in Syria.

  • 16 Khan al-Wazir Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    SYR - Alep

    One of the city's most remarkable caravanserais, this 17C khan is accessed through an imposing portal of alternating yellow and black stone courses. Above the gateway, the interior façade is adorned with delicate windows incorporating slender little ..

  • 17 Halawiyeh Madrasa Interesting

    Religious buildings

    SYR - Alep

    Opposite the entrance to the Great Mosque, the madrasa occupies the former Byzantine cathedral (6C) dedicated to St Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine. The building remained in use as a church until 1124, when it was requisitioned by Aleppo's gove..

  • 18 Al-Adeliye Mosque Interesting

    Religious buildings

    SYR - Alep

    This undiluted example of the Ottoman style was built by Muhammad Pasha, governor of Aleppo, in 1556. The double portico opening onto the courtyard is probably the earliest to survive from the empire of the Sublime Porte. It has six small domes. The ..

  • 19 Khan al-Gumrok Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Souk al-Atarine SYR - Alep

    Covering some 6 400 m2, the khan al-Gumrok (1574) is Aleppo's largest khan, comprised around 350 shops in its surrounding narrow streets and housed the British, French and Dutch consulates. Its remarkable entrance gateway is surmounted on the inside ..

  • 20 Al-Bahramiyya Mosque Interesting

    Religious buildings

    SYR - Alep

    The mosque was part of a waqf founded in 1583 by Bahram Pasha, governor of Aleppo. The external gallery had to be rebuilt in 1700 after a minaret collapsed on it. The square prayer hall extends into a five-bay apse containing the mihrab. The original..

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