Hama, city in central Syria, on the Orontes, administrative seat of the Hama Governorate, (2004) 313,000 residents.
According to bridgat, Hama is located in the middle of a fertile, densely populated arable plain, the floodplains of which until recently (1982) were irrigated by large ancient bucket wheels (noria); modern industrial plants (textiles, cement, artificial fertilizers, food).
Excavations on the citadel showed a settlement since the 5th millennium BC. After (12 layers from the Neolithic to the Islamic period): rich finds from the Iron Age; The stratigraphically secured sequence of Syrian ceramics is archaeologically important. Remains of a governor’s palace were found from the time after the Assyrian conquest (720 BC). In the oldest mosque (Djami el-Kebir, 636/637) parts of a Roman (east facade, 2nd half of the 3rd century) and a Byzantine (west facade, 595) building were included. The mosques Djami an-Nuri (1129) and Djami al-Hajat (1277; with the grave of the historian and geographer Abu l-Fida) were also destroyed). Caravanserais (Han Rüstem Pascha, 16th century; Han Assad Pascha, 1751) and Beit Azem, the palace of the Ottoman governor Assad Pascha Azem (* 1705, † 1757), built in 1740–43 (today a museum) have been preserved.
Hama, the ancient Hamath, was at the beginning of the 1st millennium BC. Capital of a small Syrian-Hittite state, Sargon II of Assur 720 BC. BC made an end. Under the Seleucids, Hama was called Epiphaneia (after Antiochus IV. Epiphanes). After Roman and (from the 7th century) Arab rule, the city came under the Ottoman Empire in 1516 (until 1918). When the uprising of the Muslim Brotherhood was put down in 1982, the city center with its mosques was severely destroyed.
Latakia, Lattakia, Ladikije, French Lattaquie [- k e], Arabic Al-Ladhiqiyah, city on the Mediterranean coast of Syria, the administrative center of the Governorate of Latakia, (2004) 383 800 residents.
University (since 1917), historical museum. The most important port in Syria, which was overshadowed by the neighboring ports of İskenderun (Turkey) and Beirut (Lebanon) until 1945, has been expanded since 1950, especially for general cargo. Intensive agricultural use in the area (tobacco, cotton, citrus fruits); Tobacco, food (oil press), cement industries; international Airport; Railroad to Aleppo.
Latakia, the ancient Laodikeia (Laodikeia in Syria, Laodikeia am Meer; Latin Laodicea), around 300 BC. By Seleukos I. Nicator on the soil of a Phoenician city of the 2nd and 1st millennium BC. Founded anew and named after his mother Laodike, it was one of the most important cities of the Seleucid Empire. 64 BC Became Roman in BC, Latakia became under Septimius Severus 194 AD. Capital of the province of Syria. After changing rule among Arabs (from 638), Byzantines (968–1188) and Crusaders, the city fell into disrepair under Turkish rule (1516–1918). Their renewed rise began with the political independence of Syria (1920–36 and 1939–42 capital of the independent state of the Nusairians).
Homs, Arabic Hums [x-], English Hims, city in central western Syria, on the Orontes, 492 m above sea level, with (2004) 652 600 residents the third largest city in the country, for 2016 the population will drop to just 200 as a result of the civil war 000 estimated; Administrative seat of the Governorate of Homs.
Catholic Archbishop’s Seat; University (founded in 1979); Center of a productive agricultural area with modern irrigation systems. As a result of the favorable traffic situation, Homs had developed into a dynamic industrial location; Sugar factory, textile industry, chemical industry (including artificial fertilizers), oil refinery (on the pipeline from the Syrian oil fields in the northeast to the Mediterranean coast).
Only the Bab el-Hawa remains of the medieval city fortifications and the citadel.
In Homs, the ancient Emesa, Elagabal, later Roman emperor, was born in 204; he was high priest of the god of the same name (Elagabal), who was worshiped here. Since 637 the city was under Arab rule, 1516–1918 it belonged to the Ottoman Empire (Damascus province; Egyptian occupation 1831–40); captured by British troops on October 18, 1918. Homs suffered severe destruction in the Syrian Civil War as a stronghold of the uprising against the Assad regime. In May 2017, government forces regained full control of the city.
Aleppo, Arabic Haleb, Hittite Halab, Halap, Akkadian Halpa, second largest city in Syria, one of the oldest and most important cities in the Middle East, 375 m above sea level, (2011) 2.1 million residents.
University (founded in 1960), music institute, national museum, state library.
Until the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, Aleppo was a very dynamic commercial and industrial city (wholesale, import and export companies, center of the Syrian textile industry, soap factories); it owed its importance mainly to the favorable traffic situation at the intersection of important trade routes (caravan routes; today railroad and roads, airport).
UNESCO declared the old town a World Heritage Site. The imposing citadel, an important example of medieval fortress architecture (12th / 13th – 16th centuries), was built on a rock 50 m higher. German excavations on the citadel since 1997 uncovered the temple of the weather god Adad (early 1st millennium BC). The Great Mosque, founded in 715 AD, was rebuilt after a fire in 1169 and underwent major changes in the 14th and 15th centuries. The Medrese Halawija was built in 1124 using the remains of a Byzantine church. The National Museum has one of the largest ancient oriental collections. The big caravanserais are in the 15th – 17th centuries. Date to the 16th century.
Aleppo, in Hittite documents of the 2nd millennium BC Mentioned in the early Babylonian period (18th / 17th century BC) was the capital of the influential Jamchad state, later Hittite; it came under the rule of the Assyrians (742 BC), the Achaemenids (539 BC), Alexander the Great (333 BC) and the Seleucids (called Beroia among them), and later became Roman (1 3rd century BC) and Persian (6th century AD). In 638 it was conquered by the Arabs, flourished in the 10th century under the Hamdanids and in the 12th and 13th centuries under the Aijubids, was Turkish from 1516–1918 and then came to Syria.
During the Syrian Civil War, Aleppo developed into a focus of the military clashes between government troops and rebels, who brought the eastern part of the city under their control, from summer 2012 onwards. Large parts of the old town of Aleppo and the urban infrastructure were destroyed in the period that followed. The battle for Aleppo, in which the Russian air force and allied militias on the regime’s side also intervened, led to a humanitarian catastrophe that left thousands of victims. On December 23, 2016, the government regained full control of the city. Tens of thousands of civilians and rebels had been evacuated from East Aleppo in the previous days.