Just to the south of the citadel, Souq al-Hamidiyya is the long, covered market that leads into the heart of the Old City. A cross...
Writing in 1875, Isabel Burton, wife of the British consul, describes the 'green' Al-Merjeh as looking like a 'village common'. By the...
Arab Epigraphy Museum
For most visitors this will be a case of a museum building being more engaging than its contents. The Arab Epigraphy Museum has a small...
Coffee Shop – Ecological & Biological Garden
Just outside the northeastern corner of the citadel, near Bab al-Farag and overlooking the trickle that is the Barada River, this...
The Citadel anchors the northwest corner of the Old City, its imposing stone walls confronting the six lanes of traffic on Sharia ath-Thawra. Built by the Seljuks between 1076 and 1193, the citadel was further fortified by the Zangid ruler Sultan Nur al-Din and by the Ayyubid Sultan Saladin in the 12th century to resist Crusader attacks. Modifications were added by the Mamluks and Ottomans, and during the French mandate it became a prison, which it remained until 1985.
Concerts are held frequently in the citadel grounds, especially during the summer evenings, when you might see anything from a symphony orchestra to jazz bands. The Jazz Festival is held here in July.