World Travel GuidesAleppo Citadel, Syria

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Aleppo Citadel, Syria
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Aleppo_Citadel_01.jpg
Bernard Gagnon




Aleppo Citadel is a massive historical monument in the city of Aleppo in Syria. According to legend, the citadel was built as early as 1600 BC, but the earliest remains at the site dates to 1000 BC, at the time when the Neo-Hittites raised a temple there. However the discovery of the temple of the storm god, Hadad, persuaded archaeologists to believe that the hill has been in use since the 3rd millennium BC.

According to local belief, Abraham milked his sheep on the hill. The medieval fortress is one of the oldest and biggest in the world. After the decline of the Neo-Hittites, the site was taken over by the Assyrians from the 8th to the 4th century BC. Many conquering armies followed, among them the Neo-Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Byzantines, the Ayyubids and the Mamluks.


Aleppo Citadel entrance
Aleppo Citadel entrance
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Aleppo_Citadel_04.jpg
Bernard Gagnon


Today Aleppo Citadel is still standing a mound. The fortress encircles the hill and measures 450 meters by 325 meters. The whole mound used to be covered with gleaming limestone. Today only part of this remains. Surround the mound is a moat. It measures 30 meters wide and 22 meters deep. The moat has been dated to the 12th century. There is a main gateway entered via an arched bridge. From here, the route to the inner entrance passes through five successive right-angle turns and three large gates, offering much security to the fortress.

Among the features within Aleppo Citadel include the Weapon's Hall, the Byzantine Hall, the Throne Hall and the Amphitheater, where musical concerts and cultural events are today staged for the entertainment of tourists. A replica of the citadel can be found at Taman Tamadun Islam, an Islamic-themed monument park in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia.


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