Damascus is one of the ancient cities located in the Middle East – Syria. It has as evidence a population dating back at least eleven thousand years ago. During the period of the Middle Ages, it was the heart of a prosperous craft industry specializing in lace and swords.
The city consists of around one hundred and twenty-five monuments from different periods of its history. One of the most fabulous is the 8th-century Great Mosque of the Umayyads, founded on the site of an Assyrian reservation.
It is believed that the earliest inhabitants had settled there around 4, 500 BC. It is nonetheless debated that it hosted its first population around 10, 000 BC. The arrival of Aaramaeans brought an important settlement.
They actually established a network of canals that still form the very basis of its present water networks. Later on, another of the Alexander, Damascus has since been in the possession of Roman, Arab and Ottoman.
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Damascus is equally rich in historical attractions, hence making it a very popular tourist destination. Hilaire Belloc, the English-French writer, and historian says, “Damascus is … a symbol. One might call it a bunch of symbols. It is a symbol of the permanent physical conditions that run throughout history; the permanent geographical limits of human settlement, government, and war”.
During the Roman era there, the city prospered in terms of architecture. Theaters, citadels, arenas and arches were built. The city used to be enclosed by a wall with seven doors to protect the city.
The ‘bab’ – Arabic for the door – was the only way for people to have access to the city. Today, the wall is no more. However, the doors are still there. They have become the unguarded monuments of the past.
Damascus is additionally known for its religious diversity. The Arabic studies reveal that the city contains two hundred mosques, thirty six churches and ten synagogues, two of which are still in operation.
Christianity was first introduced to Damascus when Saint Paul came in the city. It was believed that he had embraced Christianity on the road to Damascus.
The Great Mosque is also a very important mosque of the city. It has served as a place of worship for many years.