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                          



Mosques and Khans of Hama

Al Nuri Mosque
On a square where a small bridge crosses the Orontes lies the Al Nuri Mosque. Nur Al Din, who gave the minbar as a gift, started building it in 1172. The minaret is quite noticeable and unique in its combination of black basalt and yellow limestone. The Apamea Cham Hotel is situated on the opposite bank, on the site of the Beit Keilani, an 18th century palace.

Mosque and Mausoleum of Abu Al Feda
This is the mausoleum of the Arab historian who was appointed Emir (Prince) of Hama during the Mameluke period. There is beautiful interlaced stonework around the windows in the courtyard, which is why it is sometimes called (the serpents' mosque).

The Great Umayyad Mosque
This mosque is located on the site of a Christian church, which in turn was a pagan temple before that. Although this church was destroyed by the Byzantines in their reoccupation of Syria in 968, the basilica is still apparent in the three prayer halls covered with five domes in the shape of a cross. It is under heavy restoration by the Antiquities Department. 

Khans of Hama
There are two famous Khans in Hama. One, the Khan Rustum Pasha, with its large courtyard and heavy arcades on all sides is being restored. The other, the Khan Assad Pasha is now being used as a technical college.

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