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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

About Aleppo

Aleppo, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.

It knew human settlement since the eleventh millennium B.C. through the residential houses which were discovered in Al-Qaramel Hill .Aleppo has been conquered by many nations and civilizations since the 4th millennium B.C. , it knew the Sumerians ,Acadians , Amorites,Babylonians,Hithies, Mitanians,Assyrians,Arametes,Chaldeans, Greeks , Romans and Byzantines . The Arabian tribes lived in the 1st millennium B.C. till the time of the Islamic conquest which was a liberation from the European Byzantine occupation on one hand and a human civilized rebalance to the native people on the other hand . The Islamic civilization through its flexibility formed a new horizon that reshaped other civilizations in this supreme tolerant form , that form called for peace and brotherhood . fifteen centuries ago up till now Aleppo becomes one of the most important Islamic cities through its economical , historical , artistic and cultural legacy .

Aleppo was a key town on the trade routes for thousands of years and still uses, for local and regional trade, a considerable proportion of the facilities that were developed in the time of the caravans: khans, courtyards as warehouses with workshops around them: kilometers of narrow covered street where traders and craftsmen congregate according to their various calling and specialties. This busy center of the old city naturally had many public buildings: mosques schools (madrassas), baths (hammams), hospitals and asylums (bimarstans), as well as the occasional foreign consulate - the Venetian one dates back to the beginning of the 13th century.

The New Capital of Islamic Culture:

This year accordance with a resolution of the Islamic Conference Organization, Aleppo was selected to be the capital of Islamic Culture 1427 H. 2006 A.D. due to the availability of the criteria approved for the selection, such as the building legacy, the cultural, the scientific and the artistic credit and the economical role.

Aleppo represents a type of Islamic cities in relation to religious tolerance, acknowledging the other, and the common living among several religions, traditions and schools under the umbrella of a sublime human civilization that absorbed all previous civilizations in the frame of Islamic flexible civilization calling for the dialogue, the wisdom and the good exhortation.

Aleppo also represents a model of Islamic cities with its Islamic architecture through the ages since the year 16H. Up till now including Umayyad, Abbasite ages, in addition to Hamdanyeih, Saljokeyeh, Zankiya, Ayoubi, the Mamluouk and the Ottoman ages, with different functions formed by their architecture such as the castle, the doors, bazaars, caravansary, mosques, churches, public baths hospitals and the historical houses.

Places to visit:

  • St. George's Cathedral stands behind a labyrinth of narrow streets on a tiny square where there are several antique shops
    The Citadel
    The ramparts, known as the Bab Antakia
    The Antioch Gate
    The souks, covered by vaulted roof
    The Great Mosque and the interesting buildings in its vicinity
    Bab al Makkam, a working district
    Picturesque souk of the coppersmiths
    Bab Qinnesri: impressive fortified gates
    The beautiful madrassat al Fardos
    Al Bharamyah Mosque
    Jedeide district ("Old houses", St. George Cathedral, antique shops)
    Al Mahmandar Mosque
    The Armenian churches
    The Archaeological Museum
    The Public Gardens and Zoo
    The University quarter
    Bab Qinnesrin
    The Bimarstan (asylum) Arghoun al Kamili
    The Cotton souk (caravansaries and neighboring building)
    Al Atroush Mosque (and other buildings nearby)
    Museum of Popular Art and Traditions (in the Ageckbash Palace).
    Qalaat Samaan
    Al Bara
    Al Thaura


Hattori Hanzo said...

You forgot about the Yalbugha turkish bath. It is the oldest turkish bath in the world, and I can say that it is magical and fascinating. I took a bath there once, and it was quite an experience. The best part of it was relaxing in towels in the huge saloon with the breathtaking chandelier, drinking tea, and listening to Sabah Fakhri.

What also got me in Aleppo was the network of tunnels under the houses in the old city. All the tunnels lead up to the citadel, and people used them in times of war.

Aleppo is a truely magical city.

Sam... said...

I agree, HH.
Allepo is really a magic city.

i got the chance to live there for several months and it was really nice.

Anonymous said...

Salaams to all Syrians!

Syria has a rich history, culture and civilization as we all know.

Please visit and see the destruction that has already been in the Hijaz by the wahhabis/najdis/salafis 'in the name of stopping shirk, bidah and kufr'!

Tell your friends and family about it!

Anonymous said...

thanks for explroing the charm of aleppo , unforgetting the gloriness of all our syrian culture and history