Damascus, Syria

Damascus, Syria

According to abbreviationfinder, Damascus is the capital of the Syrian Arab Republic. At six thousand years old, it is one of the oldest cities in the world and is a bustling mix of cultures and eras. It is lavish in markets, monuments and mosques. A lot of history passed through Damascus, a city that, in addition, was for centuries an obligatory point of resupply and rest for the caravans of twenty thousand people and ten thousand camels that were on their way to the sacred Mecca ; there was still a month to go in the desert.

Between the mountains of the Anti – Lebanon and the desert of Syria, Damascus upward in the oasis of Ghouta, on a branch of the land route of silk. Here Venetians and Genoese came to meet the caravans.


The city began to be inhabited around 3000 BC. n. and., which is why it is recognized as one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, along with

  • Belgrade (Serbia), from 5200 a. n. and.
  • Byblos (Lebanon), from 5000 BC n. and.
  • Susa (Iran), from 4400 a. n. and.
  • Aleppo (Syria), from 4300 a. n. and.
  • Luxor (Egypt), from 3200 a. n. and. and
  • Jericho (Palestine) from 3000 BC. n. and.

It went through various golden ages: in the 7th century, for example, when it ceased to be in the hands of Eastern Rome, Byzantium, and became the seat of a Muslim empire.

In 1078 entrusted by Sultan Malik Shah I to his brother Tutush I, who then conquered Aleppo and proclaimed himself Sultan of Syria. Upon his death, his emirates were divided between his two sons. This was followed by the rivalry between the two emirates that continued for a long time until the extinction of the descendants of Tutush I.

For a long period Damascus preferred to ally itself with the Kingdom of Jerusalem against Zengi, but the armies of the Second Crusade besieged it, and Unar, the emir of Damascus requested help from Nur al-Din and Sayf al-Din, sons of Zengi, who they got the crusaders to lift the siege. After the death of Nur al-Din it fell under the control of Saladin. After his death, the emirate of Damascus was sometimes linked to Egypt, and was finally destroyed by the Mongols.

It had another golden age in the 13th century, although already a hundred years before, when Jerusalem fell to the crusaders, the city had been transformed into a site of Islamic resistance against the attacks of the “army of God”. The Mongols and the Mamluks passed by and in the 18th century, already in the hands of the Turks of the Ottoman Empire, it regained its brightness that had dimmed a bit. The Old City of Damascus was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. It occupies an area of 135 hectares, and was surrounded by a Roman wall, of which the north and east sides remain, and part of the south side. Eight gates are preserved, of which the oldest, Bab Sharqi, dates back to the Roman period.

Although the city still preserves Roman and Byzantine vestiges, most of the 125 buildings and monuments included in the UNESCO declaration correspond to Islamic art.

Urban morphology

A fortified wall, with its gates, surrounds the old city that has maintained, since the Umayyad era, its Islamic character, preserving at the same time Roman and Byzantine traces (streets oriented towards the cardinal points).

Covered markets, caravanserai, palaces, minarets and domes bear witness to the Islamic character of the old city. Among its many monuments, the Great Mosque, in which the main stages of Damascus history are inscribed, remains a prominent pilgrimage site and one of the holiest sites in Islam. Its architectural plan influenced those of several other mosques in Syria (Aleppo and Hama), in Turkey (Diyar Bakr), in Spain (Córdoba) and elsewhere.

Current population

Damascus has 4,700,000 residents (2007). 75% are Sunni Muslim, 15% of the population is Christian (from various churches), and the remaining 10% is subdivided into Muslim Alawis, Druze and Shiites. See population of Syria.


In general, Damascus is divided into two parts: the new city, with its modern buildings and promenades, and the old city, where the attractions of this 6,000-year-old capital are grouped, which is already mentioned in texts from four years ago. millennia and a half.


Syria has a Mediterranean climate with hot, arid summer and mild, rainy winter. The climate becomes more arid and hostile towards the interior of the country. On the coast, the average temperatures in July are 29 ° C, and in January 10 °. In the steppes, where most cities are located, temperatures are around 35 ° in the summer and 12 ° in the winter, while in the desert the temperature can reach up to 46 °. In the whole country there is not much rain, and it is concentrated on the coast.

Damascus, Syria

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