Aleppo or Halab (حلب‎)


Aleppo is a second largest city in Syria. It is also one of the oldest cities in the World. History of Aleppo stretches for five thousand years. Situated North of Damascus in Aleppo Governorate it was an important stopping point of Silk Road. Much of its glory and beauty is due to its strategic location on the intersections of trade routes.


Location: Aleppo Governorate Map


Travel Destinations in Aleppo

Aleppo Castle or Citadel

Aleppo Citadel stands in the center of the city on a hill that is visible from most of the city. This strategic location was occupied since the third millennium BC. Historians believe that the served as a site for a shrine. Two basalt liones were discovered here indicating the religious importance of the former temple complex that stood here in the 10th century BC. After invasion of Alexander the Great and subsequent establishment of Hellenistic Seleucid Empire the site was transformed into a stronghold in the fourth century BC. Aleppo Castle that you see today, however, was constructed in the 13th century. A moat was dug at the base of the hill that measures a depth of 20 meters and wideness of 30 meters. This further added to the height of the walls. Conquest of Mamluks saw further construction and renovation in 1250 to 1517. New technology required stronger walls and better defences. The entrance to Aleppo Castle costs 150 SP and 10 SP with a student card. Aleppo Castle has a cafe inside.

Bimaristan Arghan in Aleppo

Bimaristan Arghan is a former Aleppo mental hospital that houses a museum of Medicine. The entrance is free.

The Great Mosque (Jāmi‘ Bani Omayya al-Kabīr) (Aleppo)

The Great Mosque of Aleppo was constructed on a former site of Agora from the Hellenistic period. Later it was used as a base for Cathedral of Saint Helena and a local cemetery from the time of the Byzantine Empire. After the region was conquered by the Arabs, the church was destroyed an in 715 AD Umayyad caliph Al- Walid I started a construction of the new mosque. It was constructed just two years later by his successor Sulayman ibn Abd al- Malik. In the second half of the 11th century Mirdasid Dynasty added a single domed fountain. In 1090 Abul Hasan Muhammad of the Seljuks added 45- meter high minaret or a prayer tower that still tower over the religious complex. Much of the mosque you see today was constructed in 1169 by sultan Nur al- Din after the Great Mosque was damaged by fire. In 1260 the Mongol invasion did not spare Aleppo. The city was plundered and the Great Mosque was badly damaged. According to local beliefs the Mosque houses the remains of Al- Jamaa Zachariah or prophet Zachariah, the father of Saint John the Baptist. The entrance of the compound is free, but you have to remove the footwear and women have to wear abeyya (hooded cloak).


Khusruwiyah Mosque (Aleppo)

Saint Simeon's Basilica (Qalaat Sam'aan, Deir Semaan) (Aleppo)

Basilica of Saint Simeon is located 35 km (22 miles) Northwest of Aleppo. The church was dedicated to Christian hermit monk of Saint Simeon the Stylite. It was constructed in the 5th century around the pillar on which Simeon lived and prayed. The easiest way to get to the site is to hire a taxi or get a microbus with subsequent extra pay for some extra miles.


Souq- Commercial Streets of Aleppo

The streets of Aleppo were always famous for its commercial quarters. Ever since the times of the Silk Road the town was an important crossroad of trade roads.

Mushabbak Basilica (Aleppo)

Mushabbak Basilica it situated 25 km (16 mi) West of Aleppo near the town of Daret A'zzeh. This Byzantine church was constructed around 470 AD.