Damascus Jun 11, 2012
Damascus is the first stop for travellers from anywhere to Syria ,and with the Barada River flowing down freely from the mountains.There is hardly a city in the world that has packed so much history into such small space as the Old City in Damascus that still sustain the romantic notion of the Orient,filled with bazaars and blind alleys ,minarets,mosques and fountain courtyards, street-cart vendors and coffeehouses.
So then I`m writing to you now at the 11th of June 2012.
The situation here in Syria and Damascus is very volatile and dangerous ,thousands of people are killed and bombs are every where ,at any city and at any region .so the only thinking of travel there is a kind of real suicide .
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Jul 13, 2007
Damascus is considered to be among the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world..
Damascus has a wealth of historical sites dating back to many different periods of the city's history. Since the city has been built up with every passing occupation, it has become almost impossible to excavate all the ruins of Damascus that lie up to 8 feet below the modern level. The Citadel of Damascus is located in the northwest corner of the Old City. The street called straight (referred to in the conversion of St. Paul in Acts 9:11), also known as the Via Recta, was the decumanus (East-West main street) of Roman Damascus, and extended for over 1500 meters. Today, it consists of the street of Bab Sharqi and the Souk Medhat Pasha, a covered market. The Bab Sharqi street is filled with small shops and leads to the old Christian quarter of Bab Touma (St. Thomas's Gate). Souq Medhat Pasha is also a main market in Damascus and was named after Medhat Pasha, the Ottoman governor of Damascus who renovated the Souq. At the end of the Bab Sharqi street, one reaches the House of Ananias, an underground chapel that was the cellar of Ananias's house.
The Umayyad Mosque, also known as the Grand Mosque of Damascus, is one of the largest mosques in the world, and one of the oldest sites of continuous prayer since the rise of Islam. A shrine in the mosque is said to contain the head of John the Baptist.
A heavily visited site is the tomb of Zaynab bint Ali. Hundreds of thousands of Shia Muslims visit it every year.
 The walls and gates of Damascus
The old city of Damascus is surrounded by ramparts on the northern and eastern sides and part of the southern side. There are eight extant city gates, the oldest of which dates back to the Roman period. These are, clockwise from the north of the citadel:
Bab al-Faraj ("the gate of deliverance"),
Bab al-Faradis ("the gate of the orchards", or "of the paradise")
Bab al-Salam ("the gate of peace"), all on the north boundary of the old city
Bab Touma (the "Touma" or "Thomas gate") in the north-east corner, leading into the Christian quarter of the same name,
Bab Sharqi ("eastern gate") in the east wall, the only one to retain its Roman plan
Bab Kisan in the south-east, from which tradition holds that Saint Paul made his escape from Damascus, lowered from the ramparts in a basket; this gate is now closed and a chapel marking the event has been built into the structure,
al-Bab al-Saghir (the small gate) in the south.
Bab al-Jabiya at the entrance to Souq Midhat Pasha, in the south-west.
Two other areas outside the walled city also bear the name "gate": Bab Mousalla and Bab Sreija, both to the south-west of the walled city.
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