The Birth Of Damascus

It is universally acknowledged that Damascus is the oldest inhabited city in the world. Arab references attribute it to (Domashq son of Qani son of Malek son of Arfakhshad son of Sam son of Noah) or to (Geron son of Sa’ad son of A’ad), while other western sources attribute it to the Greek mythological heroes and gods (Ascus or Damas). Modern scientific references refer to our modern sources which say that it was first built in the first millennium BC. (The Aramaic Period).

Some archaeological studies spoke about the start of Damascus and the early stages of its formation. Some theories refer to a Canaanite-Amorite wall (3000 BC.) which encircled the Canaanite city (18 acres at that time) with seven gates ,the original gates of the Aramaic wall which was supported later by thousands of columns.

Religious Tourism in Syria

Religious Tourism is one of the most important aspects of contemporary tourism . In addition to being an act of pilgrimage to religious sites where saints priests, men of religion, started their missionary trips, it‘s a kinds of historical and cultural activity intended to increase knowledge about civilizations and cultures of other nations.

Religious tourism enhances

friendly relations among peoples , reactivates world cooperation and political understanding , and , at the same time , offers many economic benefits . Although religious tourism in Syria is still at its beginning, yet Syria has a very important religious positions for both Moslems and Christians .

Hosn Suleiman… Magnificent Architectural Wonder

Hosn Suleiman is a magnificent ancient temple complex located 14 km from Dreikish city. Its old name is Pathiusi. Although this was a religious center for centuries before, most of the current construction dates from the Roman period. The current name is derived from King Solomon. Visitors can see the huge stones of the temple, with inscriptions in ancient Greek and Latin.

The temple is located on the northwestern slope of Mount "Al-Nabi Saleh", the Prophet Saleh, about 700 meters above the sea level.

 Most impressive, perhaps, is the size of the stones used to construct the outer walls of the complex, which are similar in size to those found in Baalbek, Lebanon.

It is believed that the design of this site as "Hoson Suleiman" may have been linked to the miracle of its construction and the large size of stones that are not built by humans, but by the Jinn. But this belief remains within the framework of imagination and guesswork. The fort was implemented according to the best methods, techniques and equipment of the architecture in the late 2nd century AD, to construct the temple of the god "Zeus" "House of Khikhi", which is a marvel of architectural excellence.

 The temple consists of a semi-rectangular wall with 134 meters long and 85 meters. It was built of very large carved limestone, some of which are about eight meters long, two meters thick and about three meters high. It was built in a way that intertwined and graded on smaller bases, especially in the northern side. The fort has four gates that correspond to the four main directions, where the main gate is located on the northern side. Next to it there are two entrances. The four gates were built in a sculptural style, open to the outside and decorated with exquisite sculptural drawings. At the ceiling of each gate there is a rectangular panel framed with carved sculptures and paintings.

The two-story building temple was built above a rocky base in the center of the courtyard. The structure begins with a six-step wide staircase, then it divided into two separate sides leading to a wide terrace tiled with a large carved stone, with a four-step staircase.

Three golden liras were found from the Fatimid period, which read: "I witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and that Ali is the trustee of God." Collection of silver bracelets and a set of bronze coins from the Roman period were also found during earlier excavation.

Amal Farhat- Homs

"Love and Peace for Syria" Motorcycle Rally Toured Syrian Provinces to Encourage Tourism

With the participation of 100 local and Arab motorcyclists the Syrian Motorcycle Club has recently organized “the Rally of Love and Peace for Syria” under the patronage  of the Ministry of Tourism.

The four-day rally started from the resort of Yafour in the countryside of Damascus to Omayyad Square, Ma’arat Sidnaya  and Maaloula and continued to Homs province where bikers visited Wadi Al-Nasara and Crac Des Chevaliers and then continued their way to Lattakia province to visit important tourism sites including the town of Samra passing through Wadi Qandeel, Captain Wissam Rabah, Supervisor of the rally, told Syriatimes e-newspaper during the rally's tour in Lattakia.

 He said “the rally aims at reactivating the tourism movement which is now witnessing gradual recovery after eight years of brutal war on Syria”.

Captain Rabah underscored that with security being restored to most Syrian areas by the Syrian Arab Army, the bikers visited a number of archeological and the most important tourism landmarks and attractions in Syria.

Amrit ...... The Story of the Phoenician Creativity on the Mediterranean Coast

(ST)- From the Syrian coast on the Mediterranean, Phoenicians have created the greatest achievements of civilization through the history of mankind. Amrit, which is located near the city of Tartous on the coast of the eastern Mediterranean, is a vivid example showing the story of this Phoenician creativity to the whole world.

Amrit, which means in the Canaanite language architecture and construction, was one of the most prominent cities of the Canaanite coast in the Levant.

It was described as one of the most important cities of the East which was thriving in a way similar to the cities of the Greek coast on the Aegean Sea.

Amrit is the only integrated Phoenician city in the world. It is one of the most important archaeological sites along the Syrian coast. It has had a significant cultural contribution that is still represented by its varied antiquities and artifacts.

Architectural Description

Among the prominent monuments in Amrit are Tel Amrit, the Temple, the sacred basin and the burial chambers.

 Amrit's deep-rooted monuments are really of great historical significance. They represent tourist attraction. The Temple, for example, which is carved in a rocky layer overlooking the slop of the right bank of Amrit River, dates back to the 6th century BC. It is an architectural wonder.

The construction of the burial chambers in Amrit was influenced by the Egyptian pharaoh, Greek and Persian art of building and a proof of the depth of its economic and cultural relations with those civilizations in the east, north and south.

Amal Farhat