Friday 10 January 2014

Website: Monuments of Syria
The eyes of the world seem fixed on Syria presently, it is a tragedy that it could not be for different reasons than those of the conflict currently destabilising the lives of so many.

Ross Burns, author of 'Monuments of Syria' and 'Damascus- a history', has recently launched an accompanying website to his published work on Syria. 'Monuments of Syria' provides an index of historical places and sites with photographs. It provides a valuable insight to many sites of historical interest that few currently are able to visit. Here, so many periods, civilisations and faiths are represented.
"Few countries can match Syria in the richness of its historical remains. In the zone west of Aleppo, for example, over 600 Byzantine-era villages survive, often with multiple churches with walls up to their rooflines. There is practically no era not represented in Syria. Palmyra, the great caravan city at the westernmost point of the Silk Road, still slumbers in the desert, its beautifully carved limestone as crisp and dramatic as 2000 years ago. Magnificent reminders of the folly of past confrontations, including the Crusades, survive in the great fortifications that are scattered across the country — the Krak des Chevaliers; the great Islamic citadel that crowns Aleppo; the refuges of the ‘Assassins’ hidden away in the coastal mountains; or the Damascus Citadel that sustained the long Muslim resistance to the Crusades. Not to be overlooked are the many mosques and madrasas, often tucked away quietly in backstreets or buried within the busy suqs (markets) of the major centres."
Through efforts like this much knowledge is kept alive, for Syrians and the world alike. Hopefully when the spectre of war departs from the land the corpus will be expanded and studied further.

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