Syrian civilizations were devout and focused on commercial trade, linking Europe to the Middle East. Alexander the Great conquered the area and erected urban structures. Seleucus Nicator designed streets in a grid format; craftsmen incorporated Corinthian and Eastern forms.
Saint Simeon (05:05)
Constantine moved his capital from Rome to Constantinople; the Byzantine era began. Emperor Zeno commissioned a Christian Basilica with a cross layout and Eastern sensibility. A monk lived on a platform atop a pillar, believing he had to suffer to reach heaven.
Umayyad Mosque (04:23)
Damascus was said to be founded by Noah's grandson at the location where St. Paul converted to Christianity. The Umayyad Caliphate constructed the mosque as a stopover for pilgrims en route to Mecca. The main prayer hall contained a shrine dedicated to John the Baptist.
Krak des Chevaliers (04:44)
Christian forces erected fortresses and palaces in the coastal mountains of Syria. The Knights Hospitallers rebuilt the castle with two concentric rings of defense. The inner citadel had stables, barracks, dining halls, and a great hall.
Citadel of Aleppo (02:56)
Aleppo was a wealthy commercial city along the Silk Road. The fortified palace contained 14 watchtowers, steep walls, and a single-entry point. Hittite, Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic civilizations existed at the location.
Khan As'ad Pasha (02:28)
The political influence of Aleppo waned under the occupation of the Ottoman Empire, but commercial activity thrived. Businessmen transformed khans into lavish buildings. Located in Damascus, the vast central hall of the hotel housed camels and livestock.
Beit Ajiqbash (04:56)
Ottomans incorporated European and Eastern elements in their personal homes. The courtyard represented paradise to Muslims; the Iwan was a private family veranda. Syria gained independence in 1946.
Credits: Syria (00:29)
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