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World Heritage Site

for World Heritage Travellers



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.

Map of Aleppo


  • Cultural

Community Reviews

Tom Allen, England 14-Dec-08

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 UK 10-Jun-05

Aleppo by Solivagant

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).

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Community Rating

Community Rating 3.83. Based on 3 votes.

Site Info

Full name: Ancient City of Aleppo

Unesco ID: 21

Inscribed: 1986 In Danger

Type: Cultural

Criteria: 3   4  

Link: By Name By ID

Site History

  • 2013 - In Danger Together with all 5 other Syrian WHS, due to Civil War
  • 1986 - Inscribed 
  • 1983 - Deferred Deferred as conditions under which recommendation made not yet fulfilled
  • 1982 - Deferred Syria asked to provide more info and a better Urbanization policy
  • 1980 - Deferred 
  • 1979 - Deferred Bureau - lack of documentation or Info
  • 1978 - Deferred 


The site has 1 locations.

  • Aleppo


The site has 48 connections.




  • Cultural sites damaged by fire since inscription: Al-Madina Souq (sept 2012) Link
  • 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 Link


  • Byzantine Empire and Civilization
  • Silk Road
  • Assyrian Empire
  • Babylonian Empire
  • The Crusades: The Citadel of "Aleppo" is a major component of the WHS and has a significant connection with "The Crusades". Link
  • Sieges and Battles: By Saladin
  • Mamluk Sultanate: Rebuilt the city in the late 13th century (Great Mosque, Citadel) and constructed the Altinbugna Mosque (1318-1323)
  • Umayyad Caliphate: Ummayad Mosque of Aleppo  Link
  • Ottoman Empire: Ruled by Ottomans, remains of that era include Ahmadiyya Madrasa, Ahmad Pasha Khan, Adiliyya Mosque and other mosques and residences
  • 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
  • Oldest continuously inhabited cities: Aleppo, Chalcolithic (4,300 BC or earlier)

Individual People

  • Timur
  • Gertrude Bell: Photo taken February 1909
  • Saladin: Besieged 1182
  • Baibars: occupied it in 1261
  • 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.
  • Ibn Battuta: "Halab [Aleppo] is one of the most illustrious of cities, and one which has no rival in beauty of plan and perfection of arrangement, and in the spaciousness and symmetrical disposition of the bazaars"

Religion and Belief



WHS on Other Lists

World Heritage Process