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Al-Nofara Cafe

In old Damascus lays, by the entrance of al-Qaymaria quarter and the Eastern gate of Umayyad Mosque, Al Nofara Cafe (Fountain ), one of Syria's oldest and most famous Café which is usually filled with noisy chatter and music.

Old Damascus Companion of time is under rehabilitation

The old city of Damascus, which is surrounded by the beautiful “Ghouta“ , and crossed by River Barada of the seven branches , was described by historians and poets as “the paradise of God “ . Today it is an international tourist landmark, unique in itself as it was described by the “World Tourism Organization”. Archaeological discoveries proved that the city of Damascus was one of the cities which man inhabited in the ancient epochs.

It was mentioned in Egyptian records of the fifteenth century B.C. It was mentioned 67 times in the Holy Bible .It became the first abode of Christian religion in the first century A.D. The instructions of Jesus Christ to Saul the Tarsian (St Paul):

The Birth Of Damascus

It is universally acknowledged that Damascus is the oldest inhabited city in the world. Arab references attribute it to (Domashq son of Qani son of Malek son of Arfakhshad son of Sam son of Noah) or to (Geron son of Sa’ad son of A’ad), while other western sources attribute it to the Greek mythological heroes and gods (Ascus or Damas). Modern scientific references refer to our modern sources which say that it was first built in the first millennium BC. (The Aramaic Period).

Some archaeological studies spoke about the start of Damascus and the early stages of its formation. Some theories refer to a Canaanite-Amorite wall (3000 BC.) which encircled the Canaanite city (18 acres at that time) with seven gates ,the original gates of the Aramaic wall which was supported later by thousands of columns.

Religious Tourism in Syria

Religious Tourism is one of the most important aspects of contemporary tourism . In addition to being an act of pilgrimage to religious sites where saints priests, men of religion, started their missionary trips, it‘s a kinds of historical and cultural activity intended to increase knowledge about civilizations and cultures of other nations.

Religious tourism enhances

friendly relations among peoples , reactivates world cooperation and political understanding , and , at the same time , offers many economic benefits . Although religious tourism in Syria is still at its beginning, yet Syria has a very important religious positions for both Moslems and Christians .

Hosn Suleiman… Magnificent Architectural Wonder

Hosn Suleiman is a magnificent ancient temple complex located 14 km from Dreikish city. Its old name is Pathiusi. Although this was a religious center for centuries before, most of the current construction dates from the Roman period. The current name is derived from King Solomon. Visitors can see the huge stones of the temple, with inscriptions in ancient Greek and Latin.

The temple is located on the northwestern slope of Mount "Al-Nabi Saleh", the Prophet Saleh, about 700 meters above the sea level.

 Most impressive, perhaps, is the size of the stones used to construct the outer walls of the complex, which are similar in size to those found in Baalbek, Lebanon.

It is believed that the design of this site as "Hoson Suleiman" may have been linked to the miracle of its construction and the large size of stones that are not built by humans, but by the Jinn. But this belief remains within the framework of imagination and guesswork. The fort was implemented according to the best methods, techniques and equipment of the architecture in the late 2nd century AD, to construct the temple of the god "Zeus" "House of Khikhi", which is a marvel of architectural excellence.

 The temple consists of a semi-rectangular wall with 134 meters long and 85 meters. It was built of very large carved limestone, some of which are about eight meters long, two meters thick and about three meters high. It was built in a way that intertwined and graded on smaller bases, especially in the northern side. The fort has four gates that correspond to the four main directions, where the main gate is located on the northern side. Next to it there are two entrances. The four gates were built in a sculptural style, open to the outside and decorated with exquisite sculptural drawings. At the ceiling of each gate there is a rectangular panel framed with carved sculptures and paintings.

The two-story building temple was built above a rocky base in the center of the courtyard. The structure begins with a six-step wide staircase, then it divided into two separate sides leading to a wide terrace tiled with a large carved stone, with a four-step staircase.

Three golden liras were found from the Fatimid period, which read: "I witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and that Ali is the trustee of God." Collection of silver bracelets and a set of bronze coins from the Roman period were also found during earlier excavation.

Amal Farhat- Homs