Distance between the Syrian Cities
Flag and Anthem
Historical Spots of Damascus
INTEREST TO THE VISITOR
famous village is some 56 km from Damascus, and is situated at an
altitude of more than 1500 metres.Its little houses cling to the
face of an enormous rock, they look suspended in mid-air.There are
two monasteries here; Saint Sergius and Saint Taqla's.The
inhabitants still speak Aramaic, the language spoken by Christ.Two
neighbouring villages, Jaba'din and Naj'a also speak the same
language.The word Ma'lula means 'entrance' in Aramaic.
km from Damascus, the village is spread out over a hilltop, and is
surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. It has a famous monastery
founded in 547, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin.The name of the
village itself, 'Seyda Naya'in Syriac means 'Our Lady'
The monastery contains a portrait of the Virgin believed to have
been painted by St.Luke.
Located some 10 km to the south of Damascus. The interior is covered
with decorations in silver and gold, ornate windows and lavish
chandeliers. The shrine attracts hundreds of pilgrims daily from
various countries, who come to pay tribute to the Prophet's
grand-daughter, the daughter of the Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb.
RESORTS AND RECREATION SPOTS:
summer resort some 45 km north of Damascus, 1175 m above sea-level.
It overlooks the plain of Zabadani, a fertile land with thousands of
fruit trees bearing delicious apples, cherries, plums, peaches, and
pears.The source of the river Barada is in this plain and it
supplies Damascus with water, and irrigates the Ghuta around the
city.The source of the river forms a little lake which is surrounded
by cafes, restaurants, and play-grounds.
Many Damascenes, however, prefer another nearby resort, Bludan,
which spreads over the mountain overlooking Zabadani, at 1500 m
above sea-level. It is cooler here and the scenery is particularly
impressive, especially at sunset.
Recreation spots near Damascus are numerous and varied.In the
western Ghuta on the banks of the river Barada, you will find
hundreds of them concealed under the shade of popular and willow
The main resting-spots in this valley are:Ein al-Fijeh, Ein al-Khadra,
Basseemeh, al-Ashrafieh, al-Hameh, and al-Rabweh.The eastern Ghuta,
where the International Airport is located, is also a most
attractive part of Damascus environs. It is full of fruit orchards
with apricots, peach, apple, and pear trees.
IMPORTANT SITES IN SOUTHERN PROVINCES
in the vast Hawran plain, some 145 km south of Damascus.It
is an extremely ancient city mentioned in the lists of Tutmose III
and Akhenaten in the fourteenth century B.C. The first Nabatean city
in the second century B.C., it bore the name Buhora, but during the
Hellenistic period, it was known by the name of Bustra.Later the
Romans took an active interest in the city, and at the time of the
Eperor Trajan it was made the capital of the Province of Arabia (in
106 B.C) and was called Neatrajana Bustra. The city saw its greatest
period of prosperity and expansion then, became a crossroads on the
caravan routes and the official seat and residence of the Imperial
the decline of the Roman Empire, Bosra played a significant role in
the history of early Christianity. It was also linked to the rise of
Islam, when a Nestorian monk called Bahira, who lived in the city,
met the young Muhammad when his caravan stopped at Bosra, and
predicted his prophetic vocation and the faith he was going to
most interesting part of the city today is the famous Roman theatre
built in the second century A.C., which seats 15 thousand
spectators, and is considered one of the most beautiful and well
preserved of Roman amphitheatres in the world.
Every summer, it hosts Arab and international performers who
entertain audiences during the Bosra Art Festival against a majestic
background of Roman columns and arches.
Jabal al-Arab region 90 km south-east of Damascus. Shahba stands in
an oasis of orchards and vineyards. Renowned as the birthplace of
the Syrian Emperor Philip who ruled the Roman Empire between 144 and
149 A.D. To honour him, the city bore the name Philipopolis during
the Roman period. He took a personal interest in the city, planned
it after the Roman style, built numerous palaces and temples in it,
erected triumphal arches and public baths, a theatre and a great
wall surrounding it. He is said to have wanted to turn Shahba into a
replica of Rome itself.
Also : Salkhad , Tel Shehab, Qanawat ...
Situated some 90 km south-east of Damascus, it is well-known for its
plentiful vineyards. It stands 1100 m above sea-level, and was known
by the name of Suwada (little black town) in the Nabatean period,
because it was built with black volcanic stone.The Romans, in the
3rd century, considered it one of the most important towns in the
Province of Arabia and called it Dionysus.
Ruins of ancient civilisations are numerous but widely scattered;
some of the most notable of these, along with a collection of
exquisite mosaics discovered in 1962, are now housed in the Sweida
museum. One part of this mosaic collection represents Artemis,
godless of chastity and the hunt, surrounded by her nymphs when she
is surprised by a hunter while bathing. This fine Roman work dates
back to the sixth century. Another scene portrays the birth of Venus
and the wedding of Thetis. Statues carved in hard basalt show signs
of a mixture of Nabatean, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Arab
There area also the ruins of a 3rd century Roman temple surrounded
by a colonnade of Corinthian columns.