Aleppo is an old city that has been of significance from the third millennium BC. The city’s location, about 350 km to the north of Damascus, gave it a strategic position that made it important from the Amorite and Akkadian kingdoms to the present. It is said that Abraham had camped here during his early sojourns, where he milked his gray cow, which was why Aleppo was called as Halab Al-Shahba.
Aleppo served as an important link between Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent, as a number of commercial roads crossed there. It became the capital of the Amorites in the 18th century, which made it a target of several communities. The city has a rich history and there are many things that make it a good destination for a vacation. Indeed, many people describe it as the “gate to Asia”. Among the things you will marvel at here are the great works of architecture. Modern developments have not scarred the city. The architecture will also tell you a lot about the tradition of the locals, which is inscribed on them.
Stone has shaped the overall character of Aleppo, where different structures have been made of sturdy stone, from the foundations to the minarets. In the Byzantine churches, you will see how the designers chiseled limestone into various ribbon patters. The walls of many buildings, including mosques, contain Koranic verses. The ancient golden stone walls, houses and streets lent it the name Halab ash-shahba (Aleppo the Gray). Of course, the ravages of weather have eroded them and changed their color. In spite of the fact that the city was invaded many times, you will still find many monuments that survived.
The most famous symbol of the city is the citadel. Some people describe it as the greatest medieval fortress in the entire Middle East. It crown a hill that is itself semi-artificial, as it is made up of a number of ruins from different generations. The citadel, which has space for a garrison of 10,000, withstood many invasions. It was the Mongol Timur Leng who stormed it just once. It was built in 1209 on top of fortifications from earlier rulers, including the Byzantine and Roman eras. The tomb of Al-Malikal-Zahir Ghazi, who oversaw its construction, is in a mosque close to the gate.
As you approach the citadel, you will see the imposing Ottoman minarets. Among them is that of Jami’a Khusruwiyya, which is the first documented mosque that Sinan built. It dates back to about 1544.
The limestone houses will help you understand how privacy was taken seriously. Most of the entrance passageways were twisted, effectively blocking the courtyards from direct view of the public.
You can still see walls of the old city, which have Hellenistic foundations. The citadel is almost at the center. Some parts of the wall have been restored and you can still pass through the western gate.
Although there have been some new developments, Aleppo still holds a lot of the past.
Aleppo Travel Guide is a travel guide from Tripopedia, a travel encyclopedia. Learn about things to do, places to see in Aleppo and places to eat.