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Tourist attractions Syria, Jordan

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  • 1 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..

  • 2 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..

  • 3 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..

  • 4 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..

  • 5 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..

  • 6 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..

  • 7 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&..

  • 8 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..

  • 9 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..

  • 10 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 ..

  • 11 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..

  • 12 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..

  • 13 Qalaat Samaan Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    SYR - Der Samaan

    It was on this hill that Saint Simeon (around 389-459) lived an ascetic life atop a pillar for nearly 40 years. On his death, a martyrium, baptistery and basilica were erected. The latter is in fact composed of four cross-plan basilicas centred on th..

  • 14 Sergilla Recommended Recommended

    Archaeological and historical sites

    SYR - Sergilla

    Sergilla is undoubtedly the most evocative and atmospheric of the dead cities. At the termination of a dead-end road, the ruins have a timeless air. Yet in this village where life seems to have been so brutally cut short, visitors will be surprised t..

  • 15 Rassafa Recommended Recommended

    Archaeological and historical sites

    SYR - Rassafa

    This frontier post of the Roman Empire built in the 1C AD underwent rapid expansion during the Byzantine period (especially during the 6C) as a result of the popularity of the cult of St Sergius. His burial place soon began to draw many pilgrims. In ..

  • 16 Palmyra Archaeological Museum Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    SYR - Palmyre

    The museum displays some magnificent artefacts found here as well as everyday items, funerary objects, mummies, architectural elements... A model of the temple of Ba'al shows the city's most important building as it originally appeared, prior to fort..

  • 17 Arab Castle, Palmyra Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    SYR - Palmyre

    Standing proudly atop its hill, the 12C-17C castle dominates the ancient city of Palmyra. It is accessed by car or on foot, directly across country and involving a steep final ascent. Its primary interest lies in the view over its ruins, best enjoyed..

  • 18 Folklore Museum, Amman Interesting

    Museums and art

    JOR - Amman

    The museum currently occupies the western section of the ancient theatre. Collections of costumes, culinary utensils, tools, arms, musical instruments... illustrating the cultural diversity of inhabitants from the desert, villages and towns during th..

  • 19 Museum of Popular Tradition, Amman Interesting

    Museums and art

    JOR - Amman

    Like the Folklore Museum, this museum should soon be merged into the new national museum on King Talal St. For the moment, its collections are well presented in the eastern section of the ancient theatre. They are mainly women's costumes and jeweller..

  • 20 Amman Citadel Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    JOR - Amman

    Opposite the Roman theatre stood the citadel, or Jebel al-Qalaal, which throughout the first millennium AD kept watch from behind its ramparts over the population of Philadelphia (the city's name at that time). Of this fortified city, there remain ve..

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