• Nitika Mehra

One of the Most Oldest Inhabited City in the World

Updated: May 31

The capital city of Syrian Arab Republic "Damascus" is being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. According to UNESCO World Heritage centre, it is founded in the 3rd millennium B.C., Damascus is one of the oldest cities in the Middle East. In the Middle Ages, it was the centre of a flourishing craft industry, specializing in swords and lace. The city has some 125 monuments from different periods of its history – one of the most spectacular is the 8th-century Great Mosque of the Umayyads, built on the site of an Assyrian sanctuary.



Damascus has a wealth of historical sites dating back to many different periods of the city's history. Since the city has been built up with every passing occupation, it has become almost impossible to excavate all the ruins of Damascus that lie up to 2.4 m (8 ft) below the modern level.


It is the main center of education in Syria. It is a home to Damascus University, which is the oldest and largest university in Syria. In addition to, it is a major cultural center of the Levant and the Arab world.


The name of Damascus first appeared in the geographical list of Thutmose III in the 15th century BC. This city is titled as the "City of Jasmine"and located in south-western Syria. The city has an estimated population of 1,711,000 as of 2009. The modern city has an area of 105 km2 (41 sq mi), out of which 77 km2 (30 sq mi) is urban, while Jabal Qasioun occupies the rest. One of the rare periods the Barada river is high, seen here next to the Four Seasons hotel in downtown Damascus. The old city of Damascus is enclosed by the city walls, lies on the south bank of the river Barada which is almost dry.



Damascus has a cold desert climate in the Köppen-Geiger system, due to the rain shadow effect of the Anti-Lebanon mountains and the prevailing ocean currents. Summers are dry and hot with less humidity. Winters are cool and somewhat rainy; snowfall is infrequent.


Geographically embedded on the eastern foothills of the Anti-Lebanon mountain range, Damascus experiences a semi-arid climate because of the rain shadow effect. The Barada River flows through Damascus. The range has peaks of over 10,000 ft. and blocks precipitation from the Mediterranean sea, so that the region of Damascus is sometimes subject to droughts. It is surrounded by the Ghouta, irrigated farmland where many vegetables, cereals and fruits have been farmed since ancient times.


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