Syrian Arab Republic
N36 11 57 E37 09 46
Date of Inscription: 1986
Property : 364 ha
Located at the crossroads of several trade routes from the 2nd millennium B.C., Aleppo was ruled successively by the Hittites, Assyrians, Arabs, Mongols, Mamelukes and Ottomans. The 13th-century citadel, 12th-century Great Mosque and various 17th-century madrasas, palaces, caravanserais and hammams all form part of the city’s cohesive, unique urban fabric, now threatened by overpopulation.
Located at the crossroads of several trade routes since the 2nd millennium B.C., Aleppo was ruled successively by the Hittites, Assyrians, Akkadians, Greeks, Romans, Umayyads, Ayyubids, Mameluks and Ottomans who left their stamp on the city. The Citadel, the 12th-century Great Mosque and various 16th and 17th-centuries madrasas, residences, khans and public baths, all form part of the city’s cohesive, unique urban fabric.
The monumental Citadel of Aleppo, rising above the suqs, mosques and madrasas of the old walled city, is testament to Arab military might from the 12th to the 14th centuries. With evidence of past occupation by civilizations dating back to the 10th century B.C., the citadel contains the remains of mosques, palace and bath buildings. The walled city that grew up around the citadel bears evidence of the early Graeco-Roman street layout and contains remnants of 6th century Christian buildings, medieval walls and gates, mosques and madrasas relating to the Ayyubid and Mameluke development of the city, and later mosques and palaces of the Ottoman period. Outside the walls, the Bab al-Faraj quarter to the North-West, the Jdeide area to the north and other areas to the south and west, contemporary with these periods of occupation of the walled city contain important religious buildings and residences. Fundamental changes to parts of the city took place in the 30 years before inscription, including the destruction of buildings, and the development of tall new buildings and widened roads. Nonetheless the surviving ensemble of major buildings as well as the coherence of the urban character of the suqs and residential streets and lanes all contribute to the Outstanding Universal Value.
Criterion (iii): The old city of Aleppo reflects the rich and diverse cultures of its successive occupants. Many periods of history have left their influence in the architectural fabric of the city. Remains of Hittite, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Ayyubid structures and elements are incorporated in the massive surviving Citadel. The diverse mixture of buildings including the Great Mosque founded under the Umayyads and rebuilt in the 12th century; the 12th century Madrasa Halawiye, which incorporates remains of Aleppo’s Christian cathedral, together with other mosques and madrasas, suqs and khans represents an exceptional reflection of the social, cultural and economic aspects of what was once one of the richest cities of all humanity.
Criterion (iv): Aleppo is an outstanding example of an Ayyubid 12th century city with its military fortifications constructed as its focal point following the success of Salah El-Din against the Crusaders. The encircling ditch and defensive wall above a massive, sloping, stone-faced glacis, and the great gateway with its machicolations comprise a major ensemble of military architecture at the height of Arab dominance. Works of the 13th-14th centuries including the great towers and the stone entry bridge reinforce the architectural quality of this ensemble. Surrounding the citadel within the city are numerous mosques from the same period including the Madrasah al Firdows, constructed by Daifa Khatoun in 1235.
Aleppo is the largest city in Syria – population 2.1 million. Its old city is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. As it is in any Muslim country, the call to prayer is called out from mosques five times a day starting in the early morning. It can be a beautiful sound. Aleppo is a fairly conservative city. Dress appropriately to avoid any problems and to avoid standing out too much. Men should wear shirts and trousers and women should not wear anything that is too revealing. If you follow that simple dress code you should not have any problems. Head scarves are not necessary unless you want to enter a mosque but even then grey robes are available at no extra charge. There are no hostile feelings towards Americans or Westerners in general (although Americans tend to be subjected to more scrutiny by the authorities than other nationalities). You could, however, find yourself in trouble if you engage in open criticism of and against the Syrian government or the president [read more].
Manbij is the largest city in Afrin Canton, as the city of Afrin has fallen into rebel hands [read more].
Homs is the third largest city in Syria. Much of the city was destroyed or damaged during the ongoing Syrian Civil War, particularly during the Siege of Homs (2011—14). Rebuilding began in 2018. With a population of 1.6 million, Homs is the third large city in Syria after the capital Damascus and Aleppo. It is centrally positioned in Syria and is home to Al-Baath University among other institutes. There are many restaurants and hotels. The old name for the city of Homs is “Emissa” or “Emizza” but in standard Arabic it is called “Hims” and “Homs” is its informal name. There is no airport in Homs; however, you can reach the city by taxi, private car, or bus from the airports at Damascus, Aleppo, or Lattakia, or other ports of you are arriving from outside of Syria. There are bus stations in every city which provide service to reach Homs. There are no trains to Homs, however services from Damascus are expected to return during 2020 or 2021 [read more].
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