possibly even than Damascus, Aleppo’s massive Citadel
stands on the site of a Hittite acropolis. This UNESCO Heritage Site
is one of the most magnificent examples of Islamic Arab military
architecture in Syria. There are an impressive number of mosques in
the city. For the tourist, the souk (market), made up of 16km
(10 miles) of meandering low corridors lined with shops and bustling
with activity, is probably the greatest attraction. The well
preserved hammams, or public baths, are of interest, as are
the ancient khans (rest houses). Some fine artefacts and
historic reminders of Syria’s rich cultural past are housed in the
archaeological museum. Aleppo is also the commercial and
industrial centre of Syria.
is Syria’s principal port and the metropolitan city of the
country. Set on the Mediterranean coast, Latakia is a major holiday
resort. The city stands at the foot of the forested chain of
mountains overlooking the coastal strip on one side and the edge of
the Fertile Plains (the ‘Cradle of Civilisation’) on the
other. There are a number of antiquities, including the ruined Temple
of Bacchus and a triumphal arch.
in the area include the town of Tartus, beaches and
mountains, and the Latakia mountain resorts of Kassab and
Slounfeh. Near Tartus, 10km (6 miles) inland, are the Drekish
Mountains, famous for the purity of their water.