Syria 2006

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Maalula - this building houses the early Christian church of St Serge, which is said to date from the 4th century AD.
Aramaic, the language spoken by Christ, is still the language used in the church.
The doorway is very low because the building is on the site of an earlier pagan temple, of which this is an original
doorway, Damascus - houses nestle all along the slopes of Jabal Qasioun, the mountain overlooking the Barada valley
where Damascus is situated View of Damascus from Jabal Qasioun Damascus National Museum - the facade is a reconstruction of the gateway from Qasr al-Heir West, an Umayyad
desert palace of the 8th Century near Palmyra
Maalula Maalula Damascus Damascus Damascus
A model of a noria, a Roman waterwheel used to raise water for irrigation Basalt Hittite figure in the garden of Damascus National Museum The Tekkiye Mosque was built in 1554 by the architect, Sinan, to service the annual
pilgrimage of the faithful on route to Mecca Sinan was also responsible for building mosques in Aleppo and Istanbul for Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent The alternate light and dark stonework is typically Syrian
Damascus Damascus Damascus Damascus Damascus
The Tekkiye Mosque The al-Hassad dynasty - Basil al-Hassad, his father Hafez al-Hassad and the current president, Bashir al-Assad The madrasa of the mosque is now a military museum Hafez al-Assad A traffic jam in Damascus
Damascus The Tekkiye Mosque Damascus Damascus Damascus
Entrance to the Suq al-Hamidiye An enterprising man sells his wares across a branch of the Barada River by using a
crate on a pulley The old city walls The old city walls and a branch of the Barada River Tower of Qait Bey of the Umayyad Mosque
Damascus Damascus Damascus Damascus Damascus
Covered up ready to go into the mosque The Tomb of Saladin who died in 1193. His remains are in the right hand wooden tomb.  Green is regarded as the
holiest of colours Columns from the Temple of Jupiter The Tomb of Saladin Looking through the entrance to the Umayyad Mosque at the gold mosaic facade of
the Prayer Hall.  This was restored in the 1960s
Damascus Damascus Damascus Damascus Damascus
The mosaic facade of the Prayer Hall and the ablution fountain The white marble courtyard of the mosque and the Dome of the Clocks The Dome of the Treasury The Dome of the Treasury stands on eight truncated corinthian columns from an earlier building Dome of the Treasury
Damascus Damascus Damascus Damascus Damascus
The Tower of the Bride The Tower of the Bride The Shrine of John the Baptist - said to contain his head The Prayer Hall The Prayer Hall - the mihrab and minber
Damascus Damascus Damascus Damascus Damascus
The Prayer Hall The triumphal arch of the Temple of Jupiter which marks one of the entrances to the suq The suq Lunch Wendy and Penny tucking in
Damascus Damascus Damascus Damascus Damascus
Khan Assaad Pasha -  a caravanserai dating from 1752 A central courtyard is covered by eight domes The old doors of the caravanserai The small doorway enabled people to enter, but kept camels and other animals out Liz tries it out for size
Damascus Damascus Damascus Damascus Damascus
Courtyard of the Azem Palace which was built between 1749 to 1752 for the then governor of Damascus The decoration on the buildings is made using black basalt, limestone and sandstone Fountain of the Azem Palace The setting was very peaceful after the bustle of the suq A rather crooked building on Straight Street
Damascus Damascus Damascus Damascus Damascus
Bakery Straight Street or Via Recta, the decumanus maximus of the Roman city
A Roman arch on Straight Street Umayyad Mosque - The Tower of Quait Bey Dinner at the Umayyad Palace Restaurant
Damascus Damascus Damascus Damascus Damascus
Musicians entertained us.... ... and a Dervish whirled Gill receives her thank you gift The theatre at Bosra was fortified by the Arabs against the Crusaders in the 13th Century and this aided its preservation The theatre and the city of Bosra are built of black basalt, a local volcanic stone
Damascus Damascus Damascus Bosra Bosra
The theatre was built in the 2nd Century AD. It was buried in sand and was restored in 1947 It is one of the best preserved Roman theatres in the world The scaena frons was decorated with corinthian columns at the lower level.  These are copies  made at the time of
the reconstruction The theatre would have seated about 6000 people and many more would have stood  in the top gallery The acoustics are very good
Bosra Bosra Bosra Bosra Bosra
A party of Syrian schoolboys Decorative feature in the theatre Nabataean Arch Looking through the Nabataean Arch along the decumanus maximus of Bosra.  Until quite recently the villagers lived
amongst the ruins Evidence of their occupation is everywhere
Bosra Bosra Bosra Bosra Bosra
The cardo maximus crosses the decumanus at this point.  The columns on the left are from a nymphaeum.  The
building behind was a market hall.  In the distance is the Mosque of Umar The South Baths - again there is evidence of later habitation Mosque of Umar - this is reputed to be one of the earliest mosques in existence, dating from 636 AD.  However this
claim is disputed and it is arguably 12th or 13th Century People still live amongst the ruins Jerash, Jordan - the South Gate
Bosra Bosra Bosra Bosra Jerash
Jerash -The South Gate A wonderful sign! The Oval Forum - the eastern colonnade The Oval Forum - the western colonnade The Oval Forum looking towards the entrance of the Cardo Maximus
Jerash Jerash Jerash Jerash Jerash
Julia dances with the Jordanian girls, celebrating the birthday of Mohammed.  Each group of girls had a drum which
was beaten rhythmically whilst they chanted. It made the blood race! The drum is sacred to Mohammed and is the
only musical instrument allowed The Temple of Zeus and the Theatre on the right The South Theatre of Jerash Jordanian pipers were entertaining the crowds in honour of Mohammed's birthday Once they realised there was a British group, they played Speed Bonny Boat and other tunes
Jerash Jerash Jerash Jerash Jerash
I somehow had my photo taken by the leader of the pipers! View over Jerash from the top of the South Theatre The Oval Forum from the South Theatre The Oval Forum and the South Gate Colonnaded decumanus
Jerash Jerash Jerash Jerash Jerash
Looking south towards Hadrian's Arch and the Hippodrome Church of St Theodore - built 496 AD The Temple of Artemis The Temple of Artemis and again..
Jerash Jerash Jerash Jerash Jerash
Refreshments were very welcome - it had been a long day Wendy asks for two coffees.  The cardomon coffee was delicious The cella of the temple The approach up the hill to the Temple of Artemis is very splendid.  It rises from a river crossing, up a series of flights
of steps to the temple The Temple of Artemis
Jerash Jerash Jerash Jerash Jerash
The Cardo Maximus of Jerash which runs into the Oval Forum Looking the other way along the Cardo Maximus at the North Tetrapylon Nymphaeum on the Cardo Maximus - built 191 AD Drain hole decorated with fish.  As the water drained away, the fish would have appeared to swim Manhole cover in the middle of the street
Jerash Jerash Jerash Jerash Jerash
Our final hotel in Amman, Jordan - Wendy, Alan and Trisha        
Amman, Jordan        
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