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cool_imad Aleppo - A travel report by Imad
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Aleppo,  Syria - flag Syria -  ‘alab
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cool_imad's travel reports

A Virtual Visit to Aleppo - The Crown Gem of Syria

  21 votes
Syria is the cradle of more than 30 different civilizations. It has more than 2000 historical sites. Since the first days of mankind, many kingdoms flourished in Syria: Aleppo, Damascus, Ebla, Mari, Ugarit and Palmyra.

Aleppo City - General View
Aleppo City - General View
Aleppo is the Latin name for the city and its Arabic name is Halab. Aleppo plays a vital role in the history of the area since the time of the Acadians and the Amorites. Halfway between the Euphrates and the coast, Aleppo's location made her a natural commercial depot and a busy center of traffic. Pilgrims and traders from the north also transited the city, tracing the edge of the mountains rather than the rugged coast, down through Damascus to Makkah. The dynamism and raw energy of Aleppo have captivated travelers for ages. Gertrude Bell, in Amurath to Amurath, was one. If there be a better gate to Asia than Aleppo, I do not know it. A virile population, a splendid architecture, the quickening sense of a fine Arab tradition have combined to give the town an individuality sharply cut, and more than any Syrian city she seems instinct with an inherent vitality. The princes who drew the line of massive masonry about her flanks and led her armies against the emperors of the West, the merchants who gathered the wealth of inner Asia into her bazaars and bartered it against the riches of the Levant Company have handed down the spirit of enterprise to the latest of her sons. Today, Aleppo is a distribution point for neighboring countries' goods, and a market for the hinterland's bounty: cotton, grain, pistachios, olives, produce, and sheep. Situated on the silk road, Aleppo is a platform of meetings and exchanges between the East and the West.

Favourite spots:
A Traditional Aleppo House with carved stone interior & fountain
A Traditional Aleppo House with carved stone interior & fountain
Aleppo has the most beautiful markets (souks) in the world, superb khans, numerous mosques and churches, very nice Islamic schools and beautiful nature. Its citadel is magnificent and its wall and gates well reputed for their powerful and very well-engineered structure. The most attractive landmark of Aleppo is its unique citadel. A magnificent enormous fortress, considered to be one of the oldest in the region. The hill the Citadel stands on dates back to the 16th century BC. Later it was said Abraham milked his cow there. Saladin's son, Ghazi, used it as both residence & fortress. The present structure and designs of the citadel is Ghazi's work. The sole entrance to the Citadel is through the outer tower in the south, magnificent gateway is almost a castle in itself with stone arched bridge covering a 22m moat. The Ayyubid palace includes an iwan, and a Hammam. You will also find a modern built Amphitheater used for entertainment and civil occasions.

What's really great:
Aleppo Citadel
Aleppo Citadel
The great citadel, the narrow lanes and passages covered with stone. The grand bazzar which forms the longest covered market in the world. The fine decoration of building exteriors in Aleppo are very noticeable, both old & modern parts of the city. The grand mosque, the shrine of John the Baptist and the religious schools with their exquisite design and style. The big and numerous khans all around the souks, which now in our days are business centres where all traders are located. The gates around the old city are so beautiful especially Bab Antakia, Ban Al-Nesreen, Bab Al-Hadid, Bab Al-Nasr (Triumph Gate), all around these gates there exists the neighbourhood where my ancestors lived earlier this century. You will also be fascinated by the gracious and luxurious design of Aleppo's new buildings, especially those new buildings with the fines exterior desins with carved stones and fancy surroundings. I can tell more about Aleppo, especially people and food, but I am limited in space.

Islamic School
Islamic School
Aleppo Citadel
Aleppo National Park
Saadallah Al-Jabri Square
Old Souks, (Al-Medineh), Khan El-Jumruk and Khan Al-Harir

Baron Hotel Outer View
Baron Hotel Outer View
Chahba Cham Hotel
Pallman Al-Chahbaa
Amir Palace
Baron Hotel - where Agatha Christie stayed for a while with her husband.

Palace Court at Aleppo Citadel
Palace Court at Aleppo Citadel
Al-Ettihad Community Club
Al-Chahba Community Club

Aleppo, Air View
Aleppo, Air View
Pubs that are located in the above-mentioned 5-star hotels.

A Street in Aleppo
A Street in Aleppo
There is a wide choice of fine restaurants in Aleppo and I would recommend Kabab Abu Hassan, Falafel Abu Abdo and Fawwal Al-Jedaideh for traditional Aleppo food :)

To be serious I dined in Sisi House in Jedaideh and it was a very nice place being an old - but renovated traditional house - with fountains and terrace.

Also Al-Yasmeen House and Dar Zemraya...

Other restaurants at Al-Shallal area which I only fancy them for sitting outside.

Oh yeah, you can also enjoy food in Grand Station and Grand House

Other recommendations:
Nature at Ein Dara
Nature at Ein Dara
There are some very beautiful places outside Aleppo with magnificent views of nature.... I cannot recall the names now. (someone could suggest some names for me).
Also some other sights renown for archelogical and religious importance like St. Simon's Cathedral.

Published on Wednesday June 15th, 2005

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Sun, Jun 13 2010 - 06:58 AM rating by xolar

Thanks for report

Sun, Jun 26 2005 - 04:08 AM rating by marianne

Great report. I was in Aleppo in 1991, it was great to read about it and see your photos. I have planned to revisit in the near future.


Thu, Jun 23 2005 - 07:40 AM rating by fieryfox

A very interesting write up indeed and informative too. Thanks.

Thu, Jun 16 2005 - 09:35 AM rating by gloriajames

Well done! Good report. 5*

Thu, Jun 16 2005 - 06:02 AM rating by davidx

5* doesn't depend on it being your first report. I think it's worth it in it's own right - but seeing it is your first, I can hardly wait for the next!

Wed, Jun 15 2005 - 08:22 PM rating by traveling_gal

It is wonderful to read about a country so seldomly written about, especially something so detailed. The architecture sounds absolutely magnificent, and I think that for all those who read this report, they will be inspired to know more about this beautiful, enchanting country. This really is a great first report and I look forward to reading more from you in the future!

Wed, Jun 15 2005 - 03:19 PM rating by rangutan

Wow! 2500 years of history well reported with wonderful pictures.

Wed, Jun 15 2005 - 02:26 PM rating by kandath

Really enjoyed going through, well done !

Wed, Jun 15 2005 - 02:12 PM rating by deriek-2

This is an interestin riport with great pictures!

Wed, Jun 15 2005 - 12:11 PM rating by bear495

This is a very nice first report.


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