"Aleppo - the Oldest City in the World" Top 5 Page for this destination Aleppo by iwys

Aleppo Travel Guide: 757 reviews and 1,842 photos

Aleppo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a wonderful old place and its magnificent citadel is one of the must-see sights of the Middle East. Aleppo, or Halab, was my home from June to September, 2006. The people here some of the friendliest and most polite I've met anywhere in the world.

With a population of more than 3 million, Aleppo is Syria's second city. Its Arabic name, Halab, comes from the word for milk, as it believed that Abraham milked his cow on the hill where the citadel now stands. It has seen great civilisations come and go as it has been ruled successively by, amongst others, the Amorites, Hittites, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Mongols, Mamelukes, Ottomans and the French.

It has survived thousands of years and many invasions and disasters. In 1138, one of the four biggest earthquakes in the history of the world killed more than a quarter of a million people here. In 1260 and again in 1400 the city was sacked by the Mongol hordes. As if that was not enough, in 1348 about a third of the population was wiped out by the Black Death.

Highlights for the visitor include ascending the steps to see the biggest Citadel in the world, visiting the Great Mosque, strolling around the souks and khans and eating in the elegant, restored merchants' houses of the Christian quarter of Jdeide.

Aleppo is also a great base for exploring the Byzantine Dead Cities and churches of the surrounding area.

  • Last visit to Aleppo: Aug 2006
  • Intro Updated Feb 3, 2008
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Reviews (51)

Comments (11)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Jul 20, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    Hello, Ian! Thanks for bringing this fabulous place closer to us! You have great stories! ><><><

  • Tijavi's Profile Photo
    Nov 9, 2007 at 1:13 PM

    Thanks for sharing Aleppo with us. Can't wait to be there - although it's going to be a short trip. Greetings from the desert.

  • sandmoon's Profile Photo
    May 12, 2007 at 7:16 AM

    thanks ian, what a funny coincidence... well we're all interconnected in mysterious ways i guess :-) love the street scenes... my dad was born in aleppo... never went there myself... i have mixed feelings about the place...

  • triplehelix's Profile Photo
    Apr 14, 2007 at 10:13 PM

    i loved aleppo while i was there. certainly an open city and diverse compared to the rest of syria.

  • sprdak11's Profile Photo
    Feb 3, 2007 at 11:03 AM

    Interesting page. Greeetings.

  • gkitzmil's Profile Photo
    Oct 10, 2006 at 3:08 PM

    I love the off the beaten path tips! Great! Oldest city in the world? I did not know that claim.

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Sep 14, 2006 at 9:08 AM

    I didn't realise until now that you are no longer in Korea, but in Aleppo. Hope you are enjoying this lovely city!

  • ukirsari's Profile Photo
    Aug 29, 2006 at 9:16 PM

    hi ian .. happy birthday to you, wish you all the best!!! aleppo sounds great :)

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Jul 17, 2006 at 2:34 AM

    How lucky you are to be able to settle into life in Aleppo for a while. It's a marvellous city. leyle

  • yellowbell's Profile Photo
    Jul 16, 2006 at 4:02 PM

    Hi Ian, Wow, you're in the ME now after your Korea stint. Syria, I've always heard of it during priest's homilies. Love to hear more about this place and of course see more pics. Jing

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