The sites and cities included in this
regional account are described in order of appearance as the
River Euphrates flows southwestward.
Ja’bar Citadel is one of the
Seleucid fortresses. Situated to the west of Raqqa, it stands on a
spit of land and is reflected in the blue waters of the Euphrates.
Situated on the left bank of the river, the
ancient city of Raqqa was built by Alexander the Great in the
fourth century BC. Since the construction of the Euphrates Dam, it
has played an important economic role in the life of modern Syria.
Halabiyé and Zalabiya are
situated 40km (25 miles) from Deir ez Zor. Their ruins bear witness
to their important military role during the reign of Queen Zenobia.
Deir ez Zor, considered to be the
‘pearl of the Euphrates’, is located on the right bank of the
river. The garden and orchards along the banks of the Euphrates
harmonise beautifully with the golden desert hues and the silver
thread of the river.
Rahba Citadel, near Mayadin,
was built to ensure the protection of the Euphrates route and to
withstand Tatar and Mongol invasions.
The ancient city of Doura Europos (Salhieh)
played an important economic and military role during the time of
the Ancient Greeks, Romans, Persians and the Palmyrans.
Mari was built at a strategic point
on the trade routes from Syria to Mesopotamia. The town’s oldest
ruins date back 5000 years. Mari’s most impressive sight is the
extraordinary Royal Palace. Built by Zimrilim, ruler of this
important city-state 2000 years ago, this enormous palace boasts 300
rooms and halls. It was rediscovered in the course of excavations
during the 1930s and is now protected by a modern roof.