The Syria of today offers tourists as much a cultural experience as a sightseeing one, where ancient history provides a fascinating backdrop to everyday life on the streets                          



Cyrrhus (Nabi Huri)

Located at a distance of 76 km north of Aleppo, close to the Turkish border is the site of the city of Cyrrhus, in Arabic known as Nabi Huri. 

It was first founded by Seleucus Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals, in 300 BC. Cyrrhus was the name of a city in Macedonia. In the 1st century BC, the Armenians from the north occupied it and it became part of their kingdom, until Pompey got it back in 64 BC. It became quite an important military and administrative center and it flourished as it had the commercial advantage of being on the trading route from Antioch to the Euphrates. Most cities in the region were relying more on agriculture-related power.

This town was taken over twice by the Persians in the 3rd century AD, but it remained very Roman and had a significant role in the Christian era. In the 6th century it was refortified and strengthened by Justinian, but fell to the Arabs in 637. 

The Crusaders occupied it at the beginning of the 11th century, and it was made dependent on Edessa. In 1150 it was finally taken back by the Arabs again under Nur al Din, but since then it has lost its strategic importance and was abandoned.

On the road to Cyrrhus are two remarkable little Roman bridges, which still carry vehicles. The city itself has a gridlike plan much like all Seleucid and Roman cities. It is centered by the Cardo Maximus which is colonnaded and runs very accurately from North to South. 

A lot of the city has been subjected to earthquakes that have hit the region through history, and there have been a few restoration projects to renovate parts of this dead city. Most important of the vestiges in Cyrrhus is the theater, which is 112 meters in diameter and dates back to the 2nd century AD. Other vestiges, including the citadel, date back to the Hellenistic period, although most of what is seen today dates back to Justinians refortifications in the 6th century, and a Roman tower tomb which dates back to the 2nd or 3rd century AD.

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