Syria: Resurrection of a broken land
For many people, Syria has been a popular holiday destination for many years. Unfortunately, the civil war brought major changes to this. But the Syrians don’t just give up. Slowly the country stands up and the first tourists are welcomed again. Several pre-war tourist attractions already open their doors to tourists again. Fortunately, much has been preserved, despite the heavy war. Of course you cannot ignore the traces of the civil war, but there are also many areas where the war caused little visible damage. During a walk through Damascus you will discover as well, that the Syrians are very warm people who like to take you along in their hospitality. Syrian cuisine is also one of the best in the world for many people. So what are you waiting for? Plan your trip to Syria now.
Name: Syrian Arab Republic
Population: 18 million
Surface area: 185 180 km²
Neighbouring countries: Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Israel
Capital Damascus is one of the oldest cities in the world. Those who wander through the old town will soon be able to imagine it. Small winding paths take you from one old house to another beautiful courtyard. Along the way you will be greeted enthusiastically by everyone you meet. The most famous place is the al-Hamidiyya Souk. Along the way you will see several landmarks which are connected to the souk. Moreover, the souk itself is full of spice smells and amazing restaurants.
Hold on, wasn’t Palmyra completely destroyed by IS? For the most part yes, but there is still a lot visible of what it used to be. Palmyra was on the Silk Road and has a long and rich history. Nowadays you wander around the ancient and recent ruins, which quickly gives you a melancholy feeling.
The city of Aleppo has been hit very hard during the recent civil war in Syria. Large parts of the old centre have been destroyed and are slowly being rebuilt. The most famous place is the Citadel of Aleppo. The citadel sits in the middle of the city, located at 50m height. From here you also have a beautiful view.
Krak de Chevaliers
The Krak de Chevaliers castle (literal translation: Castle of the Kurds) is one of the most famous places in Syria. The castle is located near Homs and was the most important symbol during the Crusades and a support for the Maltese Order. The castle was heavily damaged during the civil war, but fortunately most of the castle has remained intact. The castle is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The history of Syria cannot be summed up in a number of sentences. Like neighbouring Iraq, we are here at the cradle of civilization. In addition, Syria is were they started with writing, and ancestors of the modern Syrians are partly responsible for the development of agriculture, livestock and cities.
Damascus and Aleppo are among the oldest cities in the world. To give you an idea of how old they are: Aleppo was conquered by an Egyptian pharaoh thousands of years ago. And then the city was already thousands of years old. In short: Syria breathes history.
Civil war and after
We also all know its recent history: The civil war between the rebels, IS and the army of Assad is unfortunately not yet over. The images of refugees and others fleeing their home are not easily forgotten. It’s hard to imagine the situation the country is in: Assad is still holding power and the rebellion is basically silent. However, we think it is important to visit the country again. That may offer some perspective for the people of Syria.