The Syrian town of Aleppo has been around for thousands of years and will be for thousands more, despite huge setbacks from time to time.
The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than a thousand properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.
Country: Syrian Arab Republic
Date of Inscription: 1986
Category: Cultural site
UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 21:
“Located at the crossroads of several trade routes from the 2nd millennium B.C., Aleppo was ruled successively by the Hittites, Assyrians, Arabs, Mongols, Mamelukes and Ottomans. The 13th-century citadel, 12th-century Great Mosque and various 17th-century madrasas, palaces, caravanserais and hammams all form part of the city’s cohesive, unique urban fabric, now threatened by overpopulation.”
I wrote this about my visit to Aleppo in 1986:
“As I stepped into my room, two Dutch people came up to me, a brother and sister. We had a long conversation and agreed to go to the souq (bazaar) later in the afternoon. We did that for three hours. The souq in Aleppo is the world’s largest and very interesting and exciting. The siblings were leaving the next day and wanted to spend the rest of their money. And they really did some shopping. It was quite fun just to follow them along.”