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 - December 2008
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.
Solivagant - June 2005
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).
Share your experiences!
Have you been to Aleppo? Click here to add your own review.
Full name: Ancient City of Aleppo
2013 - In DangerTogether with all 5 other Syrian WHS, due to Civil War
1986 - InscribedReasons for inscription
1983 - DeferredDeferred as conditions under which recommendation made not yet fulfilled
1982 - DeferredSyria asked to provide more info and a better Urbanization policy
1980 - Deferred
1979 - DeferredBureau - lack of documentation or Info
The site has 45 connections. Show all
- Baths Various hammams
- Baths hammam Yalbougha al-Nasiri
- Bazaars & Market Halls Souk
- Caravanserai Kourt Bey Khan (or Qurtbek Khan), was completed in 1540 by the Ottomans
- Freestanding Bell Tower Armenian Cathedral
- Hospitals Bimaristan Arghoun
- Libraries National Library of Aleppo
- Mausolea Mausoleum of Kheir Bey (1514), commissioned by the namesake Mamluk officer
- Notable minarets Great Mosque of Aleppo: it has a Seljuk minaret which was completed in 1090
- Tell Mound of Al-Aquabah (which probably constitues the Tel of ancient Aleb)
- Triumphal Arches Al-Tuteh Mosque includes an ancient Roman triumpal arch.
- Cultural sites damaged by fire since inscription Al-Madina Souq (sept 2012)
- Damaged in War since WWII Syrian Civil War. "In Aleppo, one of the oldest covered marketplaces in the world is now in ruins; its maze of stone streets has been one of the most intense battlefields in the country for the past 18 months, bombed from above by air force jets and chipped away at ground level by close quarter battles ......Those who dare raise their heads above the ruins, towards the ancient citadel that stands at the centre of the city, can also see damage to several of its walls." The Ummayad Mosque is also destroyed
- Assyrian Empire
- Babylonian Empire
- Byzantine Empire and Civilization
- Hittites "The Hittite Suppiluliumas I permanently defeated Mitanni and conquered Aleppo in the 14th century BCE. Aleppo had cultic importance to the Hittites for being the centre of worship of the Storm-God.". The Storm God Temple on Aleppo Tel was excavated from 1996. It both pre and postdated the Hittite period but, among the discoveries, were Hittite carvings and hieroglyphics
- Mamluk Sultanate Rebuilt the city in the late 13th century (Great Mosque, Citadel) and constructed the Altinbugna Mosque (1318-1323)
- Oldest continuously inhabited cities Aleppo, Chalcolithic (4,300 BC or earlier)
- Ottoman Empire Ruled by Ottomans, remains of that era include Ahmadiyya Madrasa, Ahmad Pasha Khan, Adiliyya Mosque and other mosques and residences
- Sieges and Battles By Saladin
- Silk Road
- The Crusades The Citadel of "Aleppo" is a major component of the WHS and has a significant connection with "The Crusades".
- Umayyad Caliphate Ummayad Mosque of Aleppo
- Baibars occupied it in 1261
- Designed by Mimar Sinan Khusruwiyah Mosque (one of Sinan's early works)
- Gertrude Bell Photo taken February 1909
- Johann Ludwig Burckhardt Burkhardt's base from 1809/12 after being accepted by the "Association for Promoting the Discovery of the Interior Parts of Africa" or "African Association" to penetrate the central and western Sudan. Perfected his Arabic there, adopted an Arabian persona and probably genuinely converted to Islam.
- Saladin Besieged 1182
Religion and Belief
- Armenian Orthodox Church Armenian Gregorian Cathedral
- Cathedrals Cathedral of the Forty Martyrs
- Eastern Catholic Churches Mar Assia Al-Hakim is Syriac Catholic
- Jewish religion and culture Central Synagogue
- Mosque 12th-century Great Mosque
- Sufism Khanqah AL-Farafira, a 13th century sufi monastery built in 1237. (wiki)
- Syriac Churches Mar Assia Al-Hakim is Syriac Catholic
- Tombs of Biblical Figures The Great Mosque - The tomb of Zechariah Father of John the Baptist (not to be confused with the Old Testament prophet of same/similar name). He is mentioned in both the Bible (Luke 1:67-79) and the Quran. Muslim tradition places his tomb in the Great Mosque of Aleppo. See
- Built in the 12th century "Aleppo is an outstanding example of an Ayyubid 12th century city"
- In the Pergamon museum Aleppo room
WHS on Other Lists
- Global Heritage Fund Threat level: at risk
- Memory of the World Aleppo Codex (2015) - "It is rumoured that in 1375 one of Maimonides' descendants brought it to Aleppo, Syria, leading to its present name" (wiki)
- World Monuments Watch (past) Cultural Heritage Sites of Syria (2014), Citadel of Aleppo (2002)
World Heritage Process
- Inscribed at third attempt or more Def 1979, Def 1980, Def 1982, Def 1983, Ins 1986