What to do in Damascus

The capital city of Syria is considered to be one of the world’s oldest cities. It was first mentioned back in 2500BC. Part of the city called the Old City of Damascus is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is surrounded by a Roman wall and it preserved its ancient layout in many places. Ancient quarters, Via Rekta (Straight Street), Umayyad Mosque which is one of the largest in the world, Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, the underground church of St. Ananias, and Bab Kisan Tower are among the great landmarks you can see in this ancient city.

Those who enjoy shopping and bargaining should visit some of its several medieval markets, including the famous Suk-al-Hamidiye with caravanserai Khan Asaad-Pasha and the largest spice market, Bzuria. Among other interesting sites is the tomb of Mohammad’s granddaughter Sayyidah Zaynab. Many Biblical events are told to have happened in Damascus and around it. This is the place where Cain killed Abel, King Nimrod found his last refuge and the Apostle Paul accepted Christianity. A famous icon, claimed to possess the ability of miraculous healing, painted by the Apostle Luke can be seen in the Orthodox Monastery of Saidnaya Holy Mother of God in the city of Saidnaya.

Maaloula, a small town near Damascus, is interesting because there tourists can see the nunnery of St. Thecla and St. Sergii Church, but even more interesting is the fact that this town together with 2 nearby villages are the only places in the world where people still speak Western Aramaic – the language of Jesus Christ. Damascus is a wonderful mixture of modern skyscrapers, luxurious cars, state-of-the-art technologies on one hand and the ruins of ancient buildings, horse-drawn vehicles and old-fashioned craft shops on the other.


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