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Damascus :

Before becoming the capital of the Arab World during the Umayyad period , Damascus had played a prominent part in the ancient history of the near east . Coming into existence in a fertile oasis and developed through the labors of its first inhabitants who cultivated the soil and made the site habitable , Damascus has behind it a prodigious past which has made it one of the oldest cities in the world .
Famous for its Quarters of Ancient Damascus , Museums , Markets , the Historical and Archaeological Sites .
Aleppo :

It is a city which readily leads you back into the past , a sort of time continuum in which flashes of the past , rather than dissipating with time , accumulate in the present .
It is still an animated Arab Bazaar city where the traditions of the Arab middle ages do not seem all that remote .
Less evident is the period of Byzantine , Roman or Greek occupation , though their stamp is there in the present street layout and the basic shape of the walled city and citadel .
Amrit :

A strange site whose provenance is still contested ; a neo- Phoenician religious center which is heavily influenced in its architectural style by the Achaemenid Persians . It is the only extent site in Syria whose remains , though fragmentary , convey this mixture of civilizations reflecting the ability of the Phoenicians to absorb and syncretise outside influences .
Apamea :

From Apamea , nestled on the East side of the Orontes Plain before the green starts to fade towards the desert to the east , you look out on a stunning sight , over the rich farmlands reclaimed from swamp towards the hazy skein of the Jebel Ansariye to the west .

Palmyra :

Palmyra is one of the great sites of the ancient world . The remains of this oasis city , midway between the Mediterranean seaboard and the thin cultivated zone of the Euphrates , seem suspended in time in this harsh desert environment . An elusive and highly romanticized goal of European travelers over the centuries , even today a visit to Palmyra is an experience which alone makes the trip to Syria worthwhile .

Bosra :

After Palmyra , Bosra is the most important site of the roman period in Syria , primarily because of the magnificent and exceptionally intact Roman Theatre ( Early 2C AD ) . The somber and unyielding basalt of this volcanic region may dull for many the impact of the Roman remains but if you visit on a sunny day , especially in winter , the effect can be memorable .

Dura Europos :

When the first wall paintings at Dura were uncovered by accident by a British expeditionary force in April 1290 , few could have expected that the incident was about to provide a new perspective on early Christian and Judaic art . For Dura's remains would not only illustrate the part it played in the drawn-out struggle between cultural , political and military influences of the east and the west but shed an unexpected new light on early representational art of the Christian and Jewish traditions . This part of the Syrian desert is thus of major historical and artistic interest .

Ebla :

This may be one of the most important Bronze Age sites discovered since the Second World War but it yields few of its secrets to the naked eye . Some impression can be gained , during an hour's walk around the site , of the scale of the ancient city and the siting of its main defensive works , including the citadel area . The impact of Ebla , however , is more to be judged in the material slowly emerging from painstaking research

Hama :

In the past , Hama enjoyed a reputation as one of the more charming of the Syrian towns , more successful than most in making of its environment a pleasant and picturesque setting through the use of the Orontes River as the city's lungs and cooling device .

Homs :

Homs is strategically placed on the natural access route from the Syrian desert to the coast by the break in the coastal mountain chains known as the Homs Gap . Its siting is also determined by the Orontes River which flows through the city . Today it is the key point in the Syrian Road and rail networks and the base for several major industries .

Krak Des Chevaliers :

As the Parthenon is to Greek temples and Charters to Gothic cathedrals , so is the Krak Des Chevaliers to Medieval castles , the supreme example , one of the great buildings of all times .
Many superlatives have been spent on this building but few do it full justice . The difficulty of finding the apt description is that , no matter how many times you visit the great fortress , it never presents the same face . In tempests or the winter gales that seem to want to rend it apart , it is glowering and forbidding ; on a springy day , its lovely warm stone hues blend with the wildflowers and the gentle light ; in the heat of summer it broods , indifferent to the sun-blasted bare fields .

Lattakia :

Like most other sites of the Levantine coast , Lattakia has played its role in entertaining all of Syria's conquerors . Little of that wanton quality remains but there is a residual trace of Mediterranean and Levantine air in the older quarter , conveying a whiff of the Alexandria-or Beirut-that-might-have-been when the sea breeze sweeps through it in the late afternoon .

Maalula :

Though rich in historical and religious associations , Maalula preserves only a few remains of its past . It is , however , a village of some charm , its tempered houses piled up the lower slopes of an escarpment rising sheer above the village .There is an uncompromising beauty to the setting and the gorge that cuts into the escarpment at the back .

Ugarit :

Ugarit is one of the few Bronze Age sites in the Middle East which offers identifiable remains to the casual visitor and not simply to the specialist scholar or those who have the time to familiarize themselves with the wealth of published information extracted from the site . Unlike other centers of the period , the palace and religious buildings were built in stone .

Seidnaya :

Seidnaya is more notable as the place of religious pilgrimage than for any outstanding remains . In fact , few reminders of its origins can be distilled from centuries of legends .
The Chapel and Convent is perched on an outcrop of rock , looking rather like a castle from some angles .

Qalaat Saladin :

While its defenses are less intact than the unstudied symmetry of the Krak Des Chevaliers and it is less sombre and brooding in its aspect than Marqab , this is an example of Crusader castle - building at its most romantic. Much of this is due to the site . a ridge between two spectacular ravines leading down from the commanding reaches of the Jebel Ansariye . The fall of the land takes the eye down to the coastal plain and beyond it the Mediterranean sparkling in the distance .

Mari :

Mari is a site of central importance . Discovered in 1933 , the excavation of this rare example of a Mesopotamian palace found with its accoutrements and archives virtually intact has been one of the keys to the unraveling of the history of Syria / Mesopotamia region during the early millennia of recorded history .

Rasafeh :

It is located south of the Euphrates and north of the Syrian semi - desert , 160 Km south east of Aleppo . Rasafeh palace was originally a church , built to commemorate a Roman officer .


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