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History of Syria

General information

Damascus Ma'loula


Homs Palmyra

Hama Apamea

Sweida shahba

Daraa Bosra

Latakia Ugarit

Tartous Amrit

Deir Ezzor Mari










One of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, it became the capital of Aramean Kingdom. In 333-332 it was captured by Alexander. Around 85 B.C., the Nabateans from Petra took the city. In 66 B.C. was occupied by Romans. Damascus is famous in the annals of Christianity as the place of the conversion of St. Paul.


In 635 A.D.. it opened its gates to the Arabs. The most important sites to visit: the National Museum, Tekieh Souleimanieh, Omayyad Mosque, Azem Palace, the Straight street, St.Ananias House and St. Paul's window.




One of the great centers of Seleucid Kingdom 400 B.C. founded by Seleucus Necator, who called it Apamea in honour to his Persian wife. The city was distroyed by an earthquake in 1157 A.D. Famous for its Roman theatre, the Colonnades street, the Monumental Arch and Antioch gate





Bosra enters history in Hellenistic time at the beginning of the first century B.C. In 106 A.D. Romans built a theatre (15000 seats ) which is considered as one of the largest and best preserved. The famous sites are: the House of the Nestorian priest Bahira, the Basilica, Roman pool, Islamic mosques and the Emphitheatre.




Famous for its bridge across the Euphrates which has a fine view of the river.





Mentioned in the Hittie documents of 2nd Millenium B.C. The most interesting sites are: The Great mosque, the Citadel, the Old bazars and Khans, and Cora'an schools.




Ebla (Tal Mardikh) mentioned in the earlier Sumerian and Akkadean inscriptions of the 3rd Millenium B.C. It was destroyed by Sargon and Naram - Sin of Akkad in 2250 B.C. Ebla is famous for its Ramparts with four monumental gates, the Royal palace (2400-2250) where about 17000 cuneiform tablets were found written in Sumerian and Eblaite tongue.


Krac des chevaliers


The most famous medieval fortress in the world, well noted for its admirable architecture, it has been occupied by crusaders in 1110 A.D. The inner castle was completed in 1170 A.D when it was captured by Sultan al Zaher Baibers in 1271 A.D. and by 1200 A.D Krac looked very much as it does today.




Lattakia is the Syrian main port on the Mediterranean. It was conquered by Alexander after the battle of Issus in 333 B.C., Seleucus 1 gave it the name of Laodicea in honour to his mother. During the Byzantine period the city was destroyed by 2 earthquakes in 494 and 555. Later it was rebuilt by Justenian ( 527-565).





Maaloula is the most beautiful summer resorts of the Qalamoun Mountains in which there is a famous split as a narrow passage between two mountains.  The monastery of St. Takla is considered one of the oldest in the world contains the remains of the st's body.  On top of the mountain ( 1625m ) lies the monastery


of St. Sergios and Bakhus which has a little church considered as one of the oldest churches in the world. The most fascinating thing is that the inhabitants still speak the Language of Christ (the Aramaic).




Palmyra was occupied by the Arameans and later in 64 B.C. by the Romans. In 266 A.D. and after the assassination of her husband, Zenobia claimed the title of Augustus to her infant son Vahaballath. In 272 A.D. Palmyra capitulated and Zenobia was taken as a prisoner to Rome.


The most important sites are the temple of Bel, the Temple of Baal Shamin, the Monumental arch and Great colonnade street. The Theatre, the Agora, the Tetrapyle, the Necropolis, the Museum, and the famous Tombs.




It was founded by Alexander the Great 333 B.C. and during the Arab period at the 18th century, Raqqa was built by the Caliph Haroun Al - Rashid as a summer resort. The main sites are Baghdad gate and the city walls.


              Rassafa (Sergiopolis)


The famous date was 305 A.D. when the Romans killed Sergios and Bakhus, the famous Christian martyrs. The city's name became Sergiopolis. The Omayyad caliph Hisham (724-743 A.D. ) restored the walls and cisterns and built a fine palace outside the walls .The main sites are: the Basilica of St. Sergios, the Walls, the North gate and the water cisterns.






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Succeeding Caliphates and Kingdoms

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