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...
Dome of the Clocks
The Dome of the Treasury is counterbalanced by a domed structure on the eastern side of the Umayyad Mosque courtyard, built in the 18th...
Two fine old madrassas (schools where Islamic law is taught) face each other across a narrow alley less than 100m northwest of the...
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...
Lonely Planet review
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.