Damascus Holidays

Damascus Travel

Capital city of the Arab Republic of Syria and built on an ancient oasis on the route to Mecca, Damascus is reputed to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world! The name ‘Damascus’ comes from the pre-Semitic ‘Dimashka’. It has been called Al-Fayha’a (the fragrant city), Al-Sham, Jollaq, and Pearl of Orient as Emperor Julian named it. It was mentioned in the Holy Qur’an as the many-columns city of Aram, ‘...whose like has never been built in the land...’. Early references to Damascus such as those in Ebla tablets, confirm that it was as a city of immense economic influence as early as the 3rd millennium BC! Damascus fell under the domination of Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines, who all left their mark. In the Roman era, Damascus was first among ten most prominent cities (The Decapolis).

Damascus is a charismatic and bustling place studded with rich examples of Islamic and Ottoman architecture. The heart of the city is Martyrs Square. In the side streets just off the square, there are lots of eateries serving shawarma and felafel and pastry shops serving sweetmeats. However, just east is probably the real beating heart of Damascus - the Old City. Surrounded by what was once a Roman wall and rebuilt several times over the last 2000 years, the Old City boasts a main thoroughfare, Straight Street. The Old City is dissected by dozens of interesting streets housing mosques; the city’s labyrinthine,the citadel, elegant bathhouses, grand residences of former pashas and the amazing Azem Palace.

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SEE ALSO: Nearby site of interest - Bosra ; Ma'alula & Krac des Chevaliers ; Palmyra

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last updated - 21 Dec 2014 3:26 AM