Home Tylos to Thassos 2010 A 4,000-year long journey
A 4,000-year long journey
Written by Ammar Hammad   
Sunday, 04 July 2010 00:39

 Ali presents a gift to Syrian Prime Minister Muhammad Naji al-Otari

Another day and another city. Early today we arrived at Aleppo, pronounced 'Halab' in Arabic. Aleppo is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, it has known human settlements for at least 4,000 years. Such a long history is probably due its being a strategic trading point midway between the Mediterranean Sea and the Euphrates.

The first attraction we visited was the National Museum of Aleppo, it takes you on a journey through the history of Syrian civilizations. As with the previous museums we visited, it shows the historic significance of Syria.

We arrive at our hotel to find it packed with cars and visitors. It was holding an economic forum and Syrian Prime Minister Muhammad Naji al-Otari was taking part in it. We were lucky to get a few moments to show our appreciation and present His Excellency with a small gift from Bahrain.

 The Citadel of Aleppo

Aleppo's most significant attraction is the Citadel of Aleppo. It is considered to be one of the oldest and largest castles in the world. Usage of the Citadel hill dates back at least to the middle of the 3rd millennium BC. Subsequently occupied by many civilizations including the Greeks, Byzantines, Ayyubids and Mamluks, the majority of the construction as it stands today is thought to originate from the Ayyubid period. A great deal of conservation work has taken place in the 2000s by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in collaboration with the Syrian Directorate General of Antiquities.

After touring the Citadel, we headed to the famous Aleppo Suq, the Medina, as it is locally known. It is the largest covered suq in the world with approximately 12 hectares.

It was an eventful day with lots to see in Aleppo and we're glad we covered most of its main attractions.

The famous Aleppo suq, the Medina