BOSRA

Second most important site of Roman influence in all Syria, Bosra is famed for its exceptionally intact Roman Theater –it became one of the leading Nabatean cities before becoming capital of the Roman province of Arabia in 106 A.D. Traces of Byzantine and Arab civilizations date back at least to 4000 B.C. It was further mentioned in the Old Testament that Bosra was inhabited by the Amalek Giants (an ancient Semitic race that came from the Arab Peninsula and lived in the Hauran). Bosra came under Hellenistic rule at the end of the 4th century B.C. and then the Greeks in the year 323 B.C. The Nabateans emigrated to it and built temples and made high walls, making it their capital around 71 B.C. The Romans then conquered the city and under their rule it became the capital of their Arab Province. Finally the Arabs gained the city and all of Syria in the year 643 A.D. The most important remains in Bosra are: The Nabatean Door, the Roman Amphitheater (the most preserved Roman theater in the world, with a capacity of 15000 persons, carved basalt stone seats and astonishing natural acoustics); a castle built around the theater; the Cathedral; a huge water reservoir; the Grand Mosque; the Trojan Palace; Sakkaia Pillars; the Arch of Triumph; and the Strada Dirita are other points of interest. Near Bosra also lies the Monastery of Monk Behira from the Byzantine Era. The Theater of Bosra is still used for grand performances during the Damascus International Fair season (August to September) every other year.