Sights of Syria
According to Best-medical-schools, the country of Syria has a well-developed tourism industry. On the territory of Syria there are many monuments of world civilization, they attract tourists from all over the world. In the near future, the country’s government plans to increase revenues from the flow of foreign tourists up to $1 billion annually.
Damascus is the capital of the state and one of the most ancient cities in the world. 22 km from it is the Orthodox monastery of the Sednai Mother of God at an altitude of one and a half kilometers above sea level and is famous for the miraculous icon, which, according to legend, was painted by St. Luke himself. In the suburbs of the capital is the city of Maalula, famous for the church of St. Sergius with the famous convent of St. Thekla. And the 2 surrounding villages are the only places in the whole world where in our time they speak the Western Aramaic dialect – the language that Christ spoke.
Aleppo (Aleppo) is the second largest city in Syria, one of the most ancient settlements in the world and the center of the Great Silk Road. There are the old picturesque areas of Taiba and Jayda, caravanserais (Jumruk, Sabun, Vazir and others), hammam baths, mosques, churches, and old covered markets, stretching for as much as 12 kilometers.
Palmyra (Tadmor) is the capital of an ancient state, which is located 210 km from the capital, in the heart of the Syrian desert and is one of the most impressive dead cities of the ancient period. There is a huge archaeological site there, which includes: the Bela (Baal) temple complex, surrounded by a high wall, baths, a large colonnade across the main street, a market square, a theater, a senate, a Roman camp with a triumphal arch and a praetorium, the ruins of ancient residential buildings with mosaic panels and even a valley of tombs with “multi-layered burials” and dozens of burial towers.
Bosra lies 120 km south of Damascus, and is the capital of the Roman province of Arabia, which is built almost entirely of black basalt. The main attraction of the city is one of the well-preserved Roman theaters, which is designed for 15,000 seats. Also well preserved are the nymphaeum, the triumphal arch, the Nabataean gate, one of the oldest mosques in the world and many medieval buildings. Bosra is included in the list of UNESCO sites.
Between Damascus and Aleppo is Hama – a city that is famous for its huge water-lifting wooden wheels “noria”, the diameter of which reaches 20 m. The mosques of Al-Jami-al-Kabir, Al-Nuri, Abu al-Fida and Azem Palace are also interesting. The city of Homs, located 160 km north of Damascus, is famous for the Ibn al-Walid Mosque with 2 minarets and the tomb of the legendary Arab commander, the Kanis-Umm-Zunnar Church (Girdle of the Mother of God), the Nuri Mosque and the Basilica of St. Eliana.
In addition, the ancient fortresses of Syria are of interest – the citadel of Tartus and Krak des Chevaliers.
The Syrians believe that there must certainly be numerous and varied snacks on the table, sometimes you can count more than 20 of them! Hummus is of particular interest, it is prepared by hand exclusively with olive oil. Puree-like snacks are an indispensable attribute of the table, for example, mutabbal is a baked eggplant puree seasoned with yogurt, garlic, lemon, olive oil and sesame seeds. “Khubz” is an Arabic bread in the form of round cakes, very tasty when served hot. Sometimes it is sprinkled with black small grains with an anise flavor. The national dish in Syria is burgul, steamed, dried and ground wheat.
The most popular mode of transport are buses, which mostly have unstable schedules, which are tied to the flow of passengers. Tickets can be bought at the bus station (“carage”) or directly from the driver. Fixed-route taxis “service” are an alternative to buses – they go along certain routes through all settlements of the country, the direction is indicated in Arabic on the windshield. From 5 to 25 passengers are placed in their cabin, they go strictly according to the schedule. There are also taxis serving long-distance routes, while the prices for travel in them are 50-70% higher than in ordinary buses, and often you need to pay for the car to travel in both directions. The price should be agreed in advance, and bargaining is very appropriate. Trains in Syria follow three main directions: – Damascus – Aleppo – Deir ez-Zor – Qamishli (daily, 3 flights in each direction to Aleppo and 2 times a week to Qamishli); – Damascus – Homs – Tartus – Latakia (2 times a week); – Latakia – Aleppo (2 times a week). Air travel in the country is surprisingly cheap: a flight from Damascus to any city in Syria where there is an airport will cost only 18-24 USD one way.
Syrian currency exchange rate for June 2011 $1=47 SYR. You can change currency at hotels and exchange offices of the Syrian Commercial Bank. It is officially forbidden to exchange currency in private exchange offices, but meanwhile this phenomenon is widespread. The reverse exchange of pounds is almost impossible. Exchange offices are open from 8.30 to 19.00-20.00 from Saturday to Thursday, and on Thursday it is open only in the morning.