4.5 based on 85 reviews
Takes your breath away leaving you fantasising about being a knight in a former life :)
Crossing the drawbridge which is a feat in itself leaves you a little out of breath, due to its sheer width, walkway and elevation
Stunning architecture considering its hundreds of years old, it was kept in amazing prestine condition.
Clean with cobbled passage ways leading up towards the inner chambers, with hoof prints & wheel prints, imbedded in the midst of the stones & general entry point. Clear signs of heavy cavalry entry into the central chambers quite some years back
Going deeper into the depths of the castle you find these immense columns metres thick, rushing upwards forming the foundations every few 20 meters apart
With arches allowing for elevated passage in between them. A colossal foundations which clearly must have cost a fortune to build, since it's design and foundations were meant as a fortification against raiders entering the city and access is further hampered by a huge moat surrounding the entire Citadel.
So much history .....
Although its foundations are in the heart of the city, it's also banking a cliff edge with a vista stretching miles beyond.
You will certainly need to explore the hidden chambers a must !!!! Most tourists miss these gems, each room a ballroom with exquisite marketry in the floor and ceiling and incredible wood panelling
You would require best part of a day to visit this place. I went with friends the year prior to the war :(.... The city deserves a furth review !!!....
4.5 based on 27 reviews
i have spent a couple of months in Aleppo a few years ago, and have otherwise visited the city many many times. This is a wonderful city, with one of the best preserved old markets in the Middle East. interesting as a city, because of the incredible heterogeneous population, ,Armenians (most of them are grandsons and daughters of the survivers of the massacre of 1915), Druse, Kurds, Christians of all denominations, Muslims of all denominations....
the city is fantastic. Visit the castle on top of the hill
5 based on 20 reviews
The Citadel of St. Simeon is fabulous on several levels. The site dates back to the 5th century C.E. and became famous with the arrival of Simeon, who made the site a major tourist attraction/pilgrimage destination even during his lifetime. Simeon used to stand on a pillar in order to get away from people and meditate on God (you can see renderings of this all over Syria). After Simeon's death, a giant church was built around the pillar and the site continued to draw masses for centuries. These days, the church and associated monastery are in ruins and the pillar has been reduced to a mere chunk of rock by centuries of tourists/pilgrims chipping away at it for relics/souvenirs. So why do I recommend this attraction so highly?
First, I find the history of tourism fascinating. Most of the time, we travelers go to see things that few people considered worthy of travel (or in the case of museums, even existed) until modern times. There is something about visiting a place that has drawn people for over 1,500 years that plays upon one's imagination.
Second, the site, while in ruins, is magnificent to see. The size of the church is still clearly visible and impressive, for one thing, and if you look closely, you can see partially uncovered mosaic floors, the rest of which is presumably awaiting excavation under a thin layer of dirt. The site is lovely to wander around, especially if you get there early. I arrived around 9 a.m. on a cold December morning (driving my own car) and it was nice to beat the tourist groups that were beginning to arrive on my way out.
The Citadel is located about 45 minutes outside of Aleppo--it's an easy morning or afternoon trip.
5 based on 16 reviews
The Dead City of Serjilla is just too cool. It's a series of abandoned stone buildings that once comprised an obviously bustling urban center. These days, you can see everything from in-tact buildings to crumbling ones. There are no paintings that I could see, but there were some carvings, intact arches, and two-level houses. I highly recommend a visit.
There's little historical information known about the site (at least that I could find) and there's no information available there. I must admit that I was thus a bit wary about visiting (I mean, really, more old stone stuff in Syria but this time without much known history). But the site won me over through a combination of its size (much larger than I imagined) and its high level of preservation (I envisioned piles of rubble but found tons of still standing buildings). I wandered around for about an hour and had a great time. Like several other things in Syria, I've really never experienced anything quite like this anywhere else in the world.
A note on getting there--I was driving and never found the actual entrance. The way to go is from al-Maara and follow the signs, takes 20-30 minutes at most. When you get to the one that says "Serjilla" (in Arabic letters) and points left (not to a road, but just to a field with stone buildings), that is it. I recommend parking on the side of the road there and walking over to it; I drove on trying to find the official entrance for another half hour, to no avail. If you don't read Arabic, get somebody to write out 'Serjilla' for you in Arabic letters before going so you can recognize the signs--most other places in Syria have English road signs pointing the way, but this one mainly had Arabic.
4.5 based on 9 reviews
Only go here with body armour and helmet. It tends to get mortared a lot so take a medical kit as well
4.5 based on 9 reviews
The Omayyed Mosque sits atop a Christian church which sits atop a Temple of Jupiter, which sits atop even more ancient religious sites. Damascus is the oldest continuously inhabited city on the planet, and you can feel the history when you walk through the souk (traditional market area) and wind up at the walls of the mosque.
4 based on 8 reviews
I just wonder how this place is now. During my visit, this was one on of most vibrant and unforgettable locales of Aleppo, bustling with traffic and people going about their daily errands. Lots of local shops around the square, the olive stalls with those colorful varieties are wonderful.
4.5 based on 2 reviews
I visited Aleppo's General Park on my last visit to Syria in August of 2008. It was my first time there, and I absolutely loved it. I think the best time to go is at dusk, when the sun is setting. Big, Beautiful Fountains flow, as different colored lights illuminate the air causing for the most serene feeling in the world. There are lots of benches for people to sit around and enjoy the park, and there are lots of people. The greenery is beautiful, and this park is probably the one place in Aleppo one can actually enjoy nature. There are people who sell a bunch of things like turkish coffee, roses, gum, candy, etc. while walking around, and it's the perfect place to go to with a loved one, or the entire family. The General Park is also in the center of a lot of great stores and eateries which one can enjoy prior to, or after visitng the Park!
3.5 based on 2 reviews
the archaeological site is an hour away from Aleppo, or if you choose to stay in Idlib or the nice hitels in Maaret el Nooman its half hour only.
Italian expedition worked here for decades thus there are great illustrations and maps on site with staff that will explain to you what you see, (like the oldest school ever found, royal palace, library, fortified city wall)
15000 cuneiforms were discovered here in the royal library that were preserved due to a great fire taht destroyed the city more than 4000 years ago, of the tablets there is the oldest international agrerment ever found, and a lot of these tablets are on display in Idlib meuseum the capital of the governorate.
if you would like to see an archeological site (with a mesopotamian flavor to it) this is the one because it is close, accessible and well interpreted.
3 based on 7 reviews
The Aleppo Museum seems to have gotten a bad reputation (no thanks to Lonely Planet's uncharacteristically unhelpful review). If there was renovation going on at this museum in the past, it now appears to be finished and well-worth the efforts. I recommend a visit for anyone touring Aleppo.
The museum features a wide-range of historical periods, not unlike the National Museum in Damascus. There are a number of fascinating pieces from earlier periods, all with signs (if not terribly informative ones). The most interesting pieces for me were a series of black statues that are replicas--the originals were sent to Germany in the early 20th century for "safe-keeping" and were subsequently destroyed during WWII.
A word to the wise--the museum is not heated during the winter months. This is not unusual, it seems, in Syria, but do dress warmly.
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