Syria’s second largest city, Aleppo looks back on an impressive history of nearly 8000 years, competing with Damascus for the claim to fame of the oldest continually inhabited city in the world. Due to its key location connecting the Eastern and Western worlds, Aleppo has a reputation as a city of savvy traders and merchants. With its more than twelve kilometers of vaulted stone passageways, Aleppo’ s souqs are the largest and most beautiful in the entire Middle East. The Aleppo citadel, an impregnable fortress and the finest example of Arab architecture in the Middle East, stands high above the city on a hill, which conceals layers of civilization dating as far back as the Hittites. Ottoman-era houses in the Christian quarters of Al Jdeideh have been transformed to accommodate guests in luxurious rooms and sumptuous restaurants, serving some of the most delicious cuisine in all of Syria. Other points of interest include the National Museum of Aleppo, and the Grand Umayyad Mosque.
Haunting in their beauty, more than 500 abandoned Byzantine settlements known as the Dead Cities are scattered to the North, South and West of Aleppo. They include Saint Simeon’s Church, Bara, Serjilla, and Qalb Lozeh, described in further detail elsewhere in this website.