HOME

SYRIAN CULTURAL

TOURISM

ANCIENT CULTURES

ANCIENT  GREEKS

ROMANS

SYRIAN EMPERORS

OF ROME

PALMYRA

MATERIAL CULTURE

OF PALMYRA

LATE ANTIQUITY

EARLY ISLAM

THE MIDDLE AGES

ISLAMIC HERALDRY

SYRIA IN THE LAST

CENTURIES

HANDICRAFTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

SUGGESTED READING

SYRIA IN THE LAST CENTURIES

A waterwheel in Hama.  There are reputed to be 17 of the famous norias by the river.  They were designed to raise water from the Orontes river - which has steep sides - so that it may be used for cultivation and households.  No one is sure how far back they date, though from pictorial representations they were clearly used during the Byzantine period.  Some of the largest date to the 14 and 15th centuries, though the wooden parts have to be constantly repaired.

The Baron Hotel in Aleppo is famous throughout the Near East, in part because the famed Oriental Express railway stopped in Aleppo.  It was built between 1909-1911 to international standards high enough to attract elite guests, which it has done to the present.


The interior of the Baron Hotel is decorated with objects from previous eras, including tourist posters.  The guest book contains such names as Charles Lindbergh, T.E. Lawrence the Theodore Roosevelt and not surprisingly Agatha Christie.

The common areas of the Baron reflect a Europeanized (sanitized) view of the Near East, but is very artistic in itself.


There are a number of villages in the North of Syria that preserve traditional architecture.  Some of the most interesting structures are these ‘beehive’ houses that are quite cool in the summer.  This is a house in the village of Umamoud.

There are many merchant’s homes that are open to the public that show what unadulterated Syrian style was like during the early 20th century (and well before).  Although of late date, the Beit Nassan is a good example.  The facade that faces the street is plain, but the courtyard is quite ornate.


The interiors of the Beit Nassan are richly ornamented with complex carving. Not surprisingly the family dealt in antiques for many years and developed fine taste.

A space capsule attests to modern Syrian technology. It rests in a place of honour in the Military Museum, Damascus.  This represents a high point of Syrian-Soviet cooperation and commemorates the first Syrian in space.


Syria is known for luscious fruit.  There are a variety of juice bars that are routinely patronized by busy Damascenes.

HOME ~ CAUCASIAN RUGS FROM GEORGIA

Copyright © 2003

DR. MURRAY EILAND

ARCHAEOLOGIST

UNIVERSITY OF DAMASCUS

Web Developer: Diana Tsirunova