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Tourist attractions Syria, Jordan

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  • 1 Azraq Wetland Reserve Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    JOR - Azraq

    The reserve's marshland and expanses of water are an important haven for migratory birds. From February to April and October to December, around 300 species pass through here, and it is during these periods that a visit is most interesting. Sadly, th..

  • 2 Canyon of Wadi Hasa Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    JOR - Mouta

    Larger and more open than Wadi Mujib, the canyon of Wadi Hasa was the frontier between the lands of Moab and Edom to the south. Its gentler more exposed slopes are planted here and there with olives. Farmers access their terraces, small verdant pocke..

  • 3 Dana Reserve Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    JOR - Dana

    To save Dana from abandonment, the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature has restored and modernised this village overlooking the canyon of Wadi Fidan, created a nature reserve in its environs and revitalised the local economy, without impacti..

  • 4 Ascent to the Deir Recommended Recommended

    Archaeological and historical sites

    Pétra JOR - Wadi Musa

    Heading up to the Deir ("monastery") is worthwhile not just to see the monument but also to enjoy the exceptional panorama from the summit over the Araba Valley. Similar to the Treasury, the Deir is distinguished by its more sober décor and..

  • 5 Jebel al-Madhbah Recommended Recommended

    Archaeological and historical sites

    Pétra JOR - Wadi Musa

    A 3hr walk leads to numerous Nabataean monuments - obelisks, fountains, triclinium, tombs... but most importantly to the principal high place of Petra, sited at the top of the hill. It was here, in the open air, that religious ceremonies and sacrific..

  • 6 Aqaba Marine Park Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    JOR - Aqaba

    The park was established in 2004 to protect the extraordinary underwater life of the south coast. It runs for 7km, from the Marine Science Centre aquarium to the Royal Diving Club, and has around 20 dive sites. The most famous are the wreck of the Le..

  • 7 Muslim Quarter of Damascus Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    SYR - Damas

    This quarter of the old city is named after its Muslim population, as was the case with the Christian Quarter (Christians were permitted to settle alongside the Arab residents in what is today the old city). Traversed by narrow streets, the quarter c..

  • 8 Bzouriyeh Souk Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Souk Bzouriyé SYR - Damas

    This souk is a dream for lovers of spices and confectionery. On both sides of the covered alley, large sacks that never seem to empty brim with condiments that would satisfy the most demanding palace kitchen. The aromas of ground thyme (zattar) and g..

  • 9 Khan Assad Pasha Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    SYR - Damas

    This majestic caravanserai was built in the 18C. At its centre is a huge courtyard, covered by nine domes (several metres in height) resting on massive pillars. Apart from the central dome which is open to the sky, the rest have little windows permit..

  • 10 Takiya Soulaymania Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    SYR - Damas

    The Takiya Soulaymania stands in a fine garden. Built in 1560, six years before the neighbouring madrasa, it marked the emergence of the Ottoman style in Damascus. It was constructed in honour of Suleiman the Magnificent by the brilliant architect Si..

  • 11 Shahba Mosaic Museum Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    SYR - Shahba

    Thetis, the Marriage of Ariadne and Dionysos, Orpheus and the Animals and the Passion of Aphrodite and Ares: four magnificent mosaics constitute this museum, on the site of a Roman villa. Of great beauty and in a good state of preservation, these art..

  • 12 Bosra Theatre Recommended Recommended

    Archaeological and historical sites

    SYR - Bosra

    What better way to appreciate the genius of Roman architecture than by attending a show during the Bosra Festival, held in its Roman theatre each September. It has amazing acoustics, a three-storey proscenium and 35 rows of seating, from the top of w..

  • 13 Safita Keep Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    SYR - Safita

    A huge 27m-high keep on a hilltop is all that remains of a 12C-13C Crusader fortress. Built to protect the Latin states of the Near East, the Templars' Chastel blanc was, like Krak des Chevaliers, finally captured by Baibars in the late 13C. On the g..

  • 14 Margat Castle Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    SYR - Baniyas

    Built by the Mazoir Crusader dynasty, the castle was in the late 12C sold to the Hospitallers, an order of monastic knights who reinforced it, creating a formidable bastion that withstood the onslaught of Saladin, the Crusaders' arch-enemy. It finall..

  • 15 Castle of Saône (or "of Saladin") Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    SYR - Al-Haffé

    Unlike Krak and Margat, this castle was never in the hands of the military and religious orders defending the Holy Land. The Byzantines built it after their re-conquest of Syria in the 10C and it then passed to the mysterious "master of Sahyoun&..

  • 16 Azem Palace Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    SYR - Hama

    Built in the mid-18C for Assad al-Azem Pasha, who also built a palace in Damascus, this building is today a museum. The layout conforms to the traditional Syrian arrangement, separating private and public spaces. The quality and richness of the decor..

  • 17 Apamea Recommended Recommended

    Archaeological and historical sites

    SYR - Qalaat al-Moudiq

    The site owes much to its setting, even more so than at Palmyra. In an open location facing Jebel Ansariyeh's steep flanks stands a row of columns marking the main thoroughfare of ancient Apamea. The extent of the town is evident. Visitors can examin..

  • 18 Great Mosque, Aleppo Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    SYR - Alep

    The Great Mosque of Aleppo was founded around 715, towards the end of the reign of Umayyad caliph Al-Walid I, and rebuilt by Nureddin after a fire in 1169, seemingly in keeping with the original plan. Around a large courtyard of polychrome tiles are ..

  • 19 Bimaristan Arghoun Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    SYR - Alep

    The Bimaristan Arghoun (note that it is customary to tip the caretaker) was founded by Mamluk governor Arghoun al-Kamili as a hospital and asylum. Built in 1354, this unusual building stands on the site of an ancient palace. The visit is a poignant o..

  • 20 Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions, Aleppo Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    Rue Haret al-Yasmeen SYR - Alep

    Housed in Bayt Ajichkbach, the museum reveals the refinement of Aleppo life. Here, far from the hubbub of the city, residents found peace and privacy. The courtyard has a pool and trees. The deeply recessed iwan was a shady spot for receiving visitor..

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