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  • Bosra ( South Of Syria Tour )
    • Package Inclusive:
      •The Citadel of Bosra
      •The Theatre of Bosra
      •Lunch at Trajan Restaurant
      ** Pick-up and Drop Off service from Damascus Hotels (Guided Tour)
  • Maaloula & Crac Des Chevaliers Syria Tours Packages
    • Package Inclusive:
      •National Museum Entrance Ticket
  • Palmyra Tour Syria Packages
    • Package Inclusive:
      •The Great Temple of Bel Entrance Ticket
      •Valley of the Tombs
      •Arch of Triumph
      •Colonnade
      •Lunch at Palmyra gate restaurant or Heliopolis Hotel restaurant
      •Bath of Queen Zenobia
      •Theatre Entrance Ticket
      •Agora
  • Sydnaya & Maaloula Tour - Syria Packages
    • Package Inclusive:
      •Sydnaya
      •Convent of the Lady of Sednaya
      •Maaloula
      •Lunch at Local Restaurant near St. Tekla Church
      ** Pick-up and Drop Off service from Damascus Hotels (Guided Tour)
 
Established between 10,000 to 8,000BC, Damascus is credited with being the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. The old-walled city, in particular, feels very ancient and largely consists of a maze of narrow alleys, punctuated by enigmatic doors that lead into pleasing, verdant courtyards and blank-faced houses.
Bosra Syria

Bosra Damascus
Bosra Syria
Bosra (also called Bozrah or Bostra; Arabic: Busra ash-Sham) is an ancient city 67 miles (108 km) south of Damascus. Once the capital of the Roman province of Arabia, Bosra was an important stopover on the ancient caravan route to Mecca. Bosra's most impressive feature is its superbly well-preserved Roman theater, complete with tall stage buildings. And there are also early Christian ruins and several old mosques to be found within its great walls.

Originally a Nabataean city, Bosra was conquered by the Roman emperor Trajan and made the capital of the Roman province of Arabia. It served as a key Roman fortress east of the Jordan River. The city eventually achieved the title "metropolis" under the Roman emperor Philip, who was a native of the city.

Bosra became a Christian bishopric early in the 4th century and ruins of two early churches can still be seen today. The city fell to the Muslims in 634/635; the ruins of ancient mosques can be seen from this period. As it was situated at the crossroads of trade routes, Bosra was a stop-off point for Muslim pilgrims heading to Mecca and Medina.

The Crusaders captured Bosra in the 12th century but failed to hold it. In the same century earthquakes, together with Turkish misrule, hastened its decline.
Maalula Monasteries

Mar Sarkis Monastery

Mar Takla Monastery
Maaloula ( Convent of St. Tekla + Convent of Mar Sarkis )
Located 50 km from Damascus in the direction of Lebanon is the magnificent village of Maalula (also spelled Maaloula), Syria. Maalula is the only place in the world that still speaks Aramaic, the language of Jesus.

Maalula is a predominantly Christian village with a population of about 2,000. It is the home of two ancient Christian monasteries: Mar Sarkis and Mar Taqla. Both Christians and Muslim pilgrims come to Maalula seeking blessings.

Maalula means "the entrance" in Aramaic, referring to its dramatic location at the entrance to a rocky gorge. Maalula perches on the slopes of the Kalamun Mountains at an altitude of 1,500 meters, overlooking a vast green carpet of fig trees, flowering damsons, grapevines and poplar trees. In addition to its important monasteries, the village is an attraction in itself: visitors invariably remark on the unique feeling of living history and the suspension of time in Maalula.

The Greek Catholic monastery of St. Sergius (Mar Sarkis or Mar Sergus
) has a chapel with a beautiful display of icons. Built in the 4th century on the remains of a pagan temple, the Mar Sarkis monastery is one of the oldest in Christendom. That it likely predates the Council of Nicea (325 AD) is evidenced by the fact that it has a round altar, which was prohibited at the Council.
Mar Sarkis is designed after the pattern of the martyrion (a shrine dedicated to a martyr) and is dedicated to St. Sergius, a Roman soldier who was executed for his Christian beliefs (Sergius has a grander basilica in Rasafa, Syria).
The convent of Mar Sarkis retains its historic feel and owns an interesting collection of religious icons from the 16th to the 18th century including one of the Virgin Mary and another of the martyrs Sergius and Bacchus. The nuns, some of whom speak English, show visitors around.

Mar Takla Monastery
Further down in the village is the Greek Orthodox monastery of St. Thecla (Mar Takla). Thecla was the daughter of a Seleucid prince and a young disciple of St. Paul whose dramatic life story is told in the apocryphal, and possibly legendary, Acts of Paul and Thecla. She is believed to be buried in the mountain just above the monastery. On the road that leaves the the village, look for a steep path on the right that leads to a terrace where a small waterfall welcomes the pilgrims.

The building was constructed on several levels. On the top floor is a modern church with a dome and a cave into which filters water with miraculous properties. This religious monument receives an unending stream of Christian and Muslim pilgrims. Other religious relics can be found in the convent but what strikes one most is the peaceful atmosphere of the place.
Palmyra Syria

Temple of Bel

Temple of Bel

Palmyra Castle
Palmyra Syria
Palmyra is an ancient city of central Syria, located in an oasis 130 miles (210 km) NE of Damascus.

Once dubbed the "Bride of the Desert," Palmyra was a vital stop for caravans crossing the Syrian desert. Palmyra was mentioned in the Old Testament as being fortified by Solomon and it flourished in Roman times.

There is much to see at the site today, including several temples dedicated to Aramean, Babylonian and Mesopotamian deities. The ancient ruins are a World Heritage Site and are one of the most popular tourist destinations in Syria.

Bosra became a Christian bishopric early in the 4th century and ruins of two early churches can still be seen today. The city fell to the Muslims in 634/635; the ruins of ancient mosques can be seen from this period. As it was situated at the crossroads of trade routes, Bosra was a stop-off point for Muslim pilgrims heading to Mecca and Medina.

The Crusaders captured Bosra in the 12th century but failed to hold it. In the same century earthquakes, together with Turkish misrule, hastened its decline.

The extensive ruins at Palmyra reveal the network plan of the ancient city. The Corinthian order marks almost all the monuments, but the influence of Mesopotamia and Iran is also clearly evident. The art found on monuments and tombs also reflects the influences of the surrounding Roman and Persian empires. As UNESCO puts it, "the art and architecture of Palmyra, standing at the crossroads of several civilizations, married Graeco-Roman techniques with local traditions and Persian influences."

Much of the principal east-west street, named the Grand Colonnade by archaeologists, still stands. It was originally almost one mile long and consisted of of some 1,500 Corinthian columns. The monumental arch at one end of the colonnade has been partially restored. Along the colonnade, a double portico is ornamented with three nymphaea. To the south are the agora, the Senate House, and the theater.

Other ruins include a vast complex called Diocletian's Camp and the chief Palmyrene temple sanctuary, dedicated to Bel, Yarhibol, and Aglibol. Palmyra's museum, between the ruins and the new town, contains statues and objects excavated from the site.
Sednaya and Maaloula.
Sednaya and Maaloula.
A small Christian settlement in the hills 27km (17 miles) north of Damascus, Sednaya is believed to be the place where Noah planted the first vine after the Flood. The sixth-century Convent of Our Lady draws thousands of pilgrims to its miraculous icon of the Virgin, believed to be painted from life by St Luke. A taxi-ride (25km/15.5 miles) through the spectacular Anti-Lebanon Mountains takes you to one of the most picturesque villages in the country and another Christian enclave, Maaloula. Here too there are several churches and it is one of the few places in the world where Aramaic, the language of Jesus, is still spoken.
Damascus Map
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