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Syria Map & Cities


This city can be summarized in three words : a town, a river and a bridge. The town is the only important urban center in the East of Syria. Its position, far from the capital and from the nerve-centers of the country, at the entrance to a vast and developing region, gives it a very considerable local importance and is enhancing its sense of its identity.

  Deir Ezzor
Deir Ezzor
The river is the Euphrates, lifeline of the region and a corridor of civilization throughout the ages. With the filling of Lake Al-Assad it has become possible to regulate its hitherto capricious flow and to make plans for new harvest. The bridge, or rather bridges - there are five of them - are the historic reason for the very existence of Deir Ezzor. Countless armies, conquerors and merchants have come this way.

This fortified town was established by Alexander's lieutenant Seleucos (the founder of the Dynasty) and its name is taken from the village in distant Macedonian in which Alexander (conqueror of Syria in 305 BC) was born. Occupied by the Parathions, then by the Romans, the town was closely linked with Palmyra which it served as an important forward line of defense against the Persians. It was captured and destroyed by the Sassanids in 256 AD, shortly before the fall of the great Syrian metropolis itself. The site is very impressive. It is very clear here how important a frontier the Euphrates was, in the ancient world.

  Doura Europos
Doura Europos

This site lies at a hill 25 kilometers south of Idleb. Ebla was destroyed in about 1600 BC There are some astonishing findings from there in the National Museum in Damascus. Ebla was the capital of a very powerful Empire in the 3rd millennium BC, and was mentioned in the Summerian and Akkadian inscriptions as having had a population of 30,000 inhabitants.

It is also famous for its strong ramparts with the four monumental gates, its Acropolis and its temples. The identification of the most ancient urban culture at Ebla as a Canaanite one indicates that the role of Syria in the very foundation of Middle Eastern civilizations was far more important than had hitherto been imagined.

It is 60 kilometers upstream from the river "Euphrates", on the right bank, from Deir Ezzor. In it stands a most impressive castle called "Zenobia" in Palmyrene times, which for hundred of years was bitterly contended for. Outer walls, on a triangular plan extending on to the river bank itself, rise in a series of closely-set square towers to the top of a basalt spur, which is crowned by a massive keep.



Hama is one of the most attractive towns in Syria, notable on account of its wooden wheels called "Norias" which draw water from the Orontes. An old town dating back to Neolithic times, Hama charms the visitor with its water and orchards and its picturesque old quarters. A noria is an undershot Vitruvian waterwheel which raises water from a pool or a well to a channel or a cistern above. It is a very ancient technique. Its noise - a "cry" almost like the Muezzin's call to prayer, hatch, plangent and timeless. Hama is filled with historical sites. The most important one is the Azem Palace, built in 1742 AD, now housing a museum with rare pieces. The Old Citadel of Hama consists of at least ten distinct archaeological layers, from the Neolithic period to the Middle Ages. Other sites in Hama are worth visiting such as Al-Nouri Mosque and the two "Khans", the Assad Pacha El-Azem and the Rustom Pacha, with gateways and courtyards built of stone in alternating colors.


Homs is famous for its mausoleum containing the tomb of Khaled Ibn Al-Walid; the great commander of the Muslim armies who brought Islam to Syria in 636. There are many churches there, small modest buildings for the most part. One of them claims to possess "the girdle of the Blessed Virgin". The Church of St. Elian commemorates the only son of a high Roman Official, governor of Homs (Emesa) at the end of the 3rd century, who died a martyr for his faith at the hands of his own father. Homs provided Rome with three emperors, including the famous Caracalla. It is also famous as the birth-place of Elagablal, the High Priest of the Temple of Sun. Its Citadel contains Roman and Islamic fortifications.

Homs --

It is a very unique place, both in its architecture and esthetics values. Its building is a mixture of unique and different kinds of colored basaltic marble and tiles. The three buildings of this unique site consists of:

  1. A cross shaped palace,
  2. A doomed square church, 15 meters wide and 18.5 meters long, and
  3. A huge military barrack dates back as far as 561 AD

The date of construction of this place is to be found at the main door stone inscripted in Greek saying 564 AD


A pink fortress located at Assad Lake which can be seen with its reflection in the blue water of the lake, surrounded by two walls broken by thirty-five towers of different shapes: four-, five-, six-, eight-, sided or half-moon shaped.

Today it stands on an islet joined to architecture, dating from the time of Nur Ad-Din (12 century) is unique of its kind. The facades of the towers are richly decorated with ornamentation and inscription.   Jaabar

Latakia, formerly "Laodicea", is a peaceful residential and resort town. But its beaches of golden sand and its holiday chalets with its lively port, which along with the neighboring port of Tartus constitutes Syria's Mediterranean gateway. Latakia is one of the lungs of Syria. It is the ancient settlement of Ramitha, Leuk Akat and Mazabdan of the 4th and 3rd millennia BC It was an important Phoenician city in the 2nd and 1st millennia BC Latakia was later occupied by the Assyrians and the Babylonians. Alexander, the Great, conquered Latakia in 333 BC and the great leader Seleucus Nictar rebuilt it and renamed it Laoicea, in honor of his mother. There are beaches, mountains, lush countryside, archaeological sites and many relics of the Crusaders, all within, at most, a few hour's drive.

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