"Palmyra - تدمر (Tadmor)" Top 5 Page for this destination Palmyra by MM212

Palmyra Travel Guide: 237 reviews and 767 photos

Palmyra Panorama


Situated in the heart of the Syrian Desert, Palmyra contains one of the most impressive archaeological sites in the world. Tadmor, as it is known in Arabic, is Syria's crown jewel of tourist interests -- and there are many -- and a trip to Syria without a stop in Palmyra cannot but be considered incomplete.

The city owes its existence and historic significance to the natural water springs that irrigate its oasis. The location of the oasis in the middle of the unforgiving desert made Palmyra an indispensible stop along the desert caravan route. After the Romans conquered Syria in 41 BC, the trade route was diverted south through Palmyra from its traditional northerly route. With the caravans came wealth, prosperity and power to the citizens of Palmyra. For a while it was a rich independent buffer state between Rome and Persia, but it succumbed to Pax Romana in the 1st century AD and became part of the province of Syria. Following this came the period of greatest wealth and construction in Palmyra's history, as the city adopted Roman architecture while preserving its strong Semitic culture and tradition. In the 3rd century AD, the infamous Queen Zenobia of Palmyra challenged Rome's authority and attempted to create an independent Palmyrene empire in the eastern Mediterranean, but Rome defeated her and tightened their rule on the desert city. At this point, Palmyra's decline had begun as trade routes were once again disrupted, this time by the Sassanid Empire further east.

Palmyra's decline accelerated during the Byzantine period and after the arrival of Islam as trade routes shifted once again, but the great desert city left us with unmatched splendour to witness nearly two millennia later.

Syria itinerary in Dec 2006:

Damascus - Maaloula - Krak des Chevaliers - Homs - Palmyra/Tadmur - Hama - Apamea - Aleppo - Al Barah/Serjilla - Damascus

IMPORTANT UPDATE: several architectural treasures have been blown up and completely destroyed in 2015 by the criminal group known as Daesh/ISIS/ISIL.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Incredible ruins in the middle of the desert
  • Cons:3+ hours of driving from any large city
  • Last visit to Palmyra: Dec 2006
  • Intro Updated Sep 13, 2015
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