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The Ancient City of Aleppo has been ruled, among the other, by Romans, Byzantines, Seljuqs, Mamluks and Ottomans. It is one of the oldest inhabited cities in history.

It knew human settlement since the eleventh millennium B.C. through the residential houses which were discovered in Al-Qaramel Hill. It occupies a strategic trading point midway between the sea and the Euphrates. The main role of the city was as a trading place.

The historic buildings that remain include the Citadel and several medrassahs dating from the 12th and 13th centuries, and numerous mansions, palaces, churches and mosques that were added until the 19th century.


Tom Allen (England):
There has always been a strong rivalry between Aleppo and Damascus. For me though, Aleppo (based on my visit in 2004) has more charm and is more relaxing. It's less touristy and has some amazing restaurants in its ancient quarter. The day trip from Aleppo to Latakia on the coast was a bit of an anticlimax... better to stay in Aleppo if you have the time.
Date posted: December 2008
Solivagant (UK):
Aleppo is well worth a day of anyone’s time. With a range of buildings both monumental and everyday from between the 12th and 17th centuries it has been inscribed for its “its cohesive unique urban fabric”. Well, I don’t know about that but it did feel quite “Middle Eastern” and “Arabic” to me. The highlights are the citadel (photo) and the covered souqs. The museum has some superb Hittite statues. Although it has a population of almost 2 million the main sights are within reasonable walking distance of each other. We thought the “famed” Baron Hotel with its “period” (some would say “grotty” –though it may have been renovated since we were there a few years ago!) furnishings and the signature of Lawrence of Arabia in the visitor’s book somewhat overpriced – worth having a look round but there are plenty of other hotels in the area (which is certainly convenient for the historic sights).
Date posted: June 2005

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Site info

Ancient City of Aleppo
Country: Syria
Inscribed: 1986
  • In Danger
    Cultural Heritage
    Criteria:  (3) (4)
    Category: Urban landscape, Arabic / Middle Eastern

    Site history:
    2013In Danger
    Together with all 5 other Syrian WHS, due to Civil War
    1986 Inscribed
    Reasons for inscription
    Deferred as conditions under which recommendation made not yet fulfilled
    Syria asked to provide more info and a better Urbanization policy
    Bureau - lack of documentation or Info

    Site links

    Official website:

    In the news:
    » The slow destruction of the Aleppo citadel (25-11-2015).
    » Syria civil war: Bomb damages Aleppo's ancient citadel (12-07-2015).
    » 13th century Al-Sultaniyah Madrasa (Aleppo) appears to have been destroyed (14-12-2014).
    » Assessment of destruction at Syria's WHS using satellite imagery (27-09-2014).
    » Ancient Aleppo minaret destroyed (24-04-2013).
    » Great Mosque of Aleppo is wars latest victim (16-10-2012).
    » Fire destroys parts of Aleppo's medieval souks (29-09-2012).
    » Aleppo citadel hit by shelling, says opposition (12-08-2012).

    Related links:
    » Traveladventures.
    » The lure of Aleppo.

    Related Forum posts:
    Not available

    Getting there

    This WHS has 1 location(s).


    Medina .
    Baths . Baths . Bazaars & Market Halls . Caravanserai . Freestanding Bell Tower . Hospitals . Libraries . Mausolea . Notable minarets . Tell . Triumphal Arches .
    Cultural sites damaged by fire since inscription . Damaged in War since WWII .
    Assyrian Empire . Babylonian Empire . Byzantine Empire and Civilization . Hittites . Mamluk Sultanate . Oldest continuously inhabited cities . Ottoman Empire . Sieges and Battles . Silk Road . The Crusades . Umayyad Caliphate .
    Individual People
    Baibars . Designed by Mimar Sinan . Gertrude Bell . Johann Ludwig Burckhardt . Saladin . Timur .
    Religion and Belief
    Armenian Orthodox Church . Cathedrals . Eastern Catholic Churches . Jewish religion and culture . Mosque . Sufism . Syriac Churches .
    Built in the 12th century .
    In the Pergamon museum .
    WHS on Other Lists
    Global Heritage Fund . Memory of the World . World Monuments Watch (past) . World Monuments Watch (past) .

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