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Damascus, Syria Travel Video

Damascus: historic city, part 2

The Umayyad Mosque, also known as the Great Mosque of Damascus is one of the largest and oldest mosques in the world. It is considered the fourth-holiest place in Islam.

After the Arab conquest of Damascus in 634, the mosque was built on the site of a Christian basilica dedicated to John the Baptist. The mosque holds a shrine which today may still contain the head of John the Baptist, honored as a prophet by both Christians and Muslims alike, and is believed to be the place where Isa (Jesus) will return at the End of Days.

The tomb of Saladin stands in a small garden adjoining the north wall of the mosque and holds the resting place and grave of the medieval Kurdish Ayyubid Sultan Saladin. The mausoleum was built in 1196, three years after the death of Saladin.

Al-Adiliyah Madrasa, a madrasah or religious school founded in 1215 by Sultan Al-Adil I. He was buried in the school. The madrasa is considered an important example of Ayyubid architecture in Syria.

The Old City of Damascus is a Unesco World Heritage Site.

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Damascus: historic city, part 1

Damascus: historic city, part 1

The Citadel of Damascus is a large medieval fortified palace and. It is part of…moreThe Citadel of Damascus is a large medieval fortified palace and. It is part of the Ancient City of Damascus, which was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. The location of the current citadel was first fortified in 1076 by the Turkman warlord Atsiz bin Uvak,During this period, the citadel and the city were besieged several times by Crusader and Muslim armies. In 1174, the citadel was captured by Saladin, who made it his residence . Al-Hamidiyah Souq is the largest and the central souk in Syria, located inside the old walled city of Damascus next to the Citadel. Khan As'ad Pasha is the largest khan in the Old City of Damascus, covering an area of 2,500 square metres (27,000 sq ft). Situated along Al-Buzuriyah Souq, it was built and named after As'ad Pasha al-Azm, the governor of Damascus, in 1751-52. Khan As'ad Pasha has been described as the most "ambitious" work of architecture in the city. Throughout the Ottoman era, it hosted caravans coming from Baghdad, Mosul, Aleppo, Beirut and elsewhere in the Middle East. less

Palmyra

Palmyra

Palmyra was an ancient city in central Syria located in an oasis in the Syrian …morePalmyra was an ancient city in central Syria located in an oasis in the Syrian desert, north-east of Damascus and of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world. First mentioned in the archives of Mari in the 2nd millennium BC, Palmyra was an established caravan oasis when it came under Roman control in the mid-first century AD as part of the Roman province of Syria. It grew steadily in importance as a city on the trade route linking Persia, India and China with the Roman Empire, marking the crossroads of several civilisations in the ancient world. A grand, colonnaded street of 1100 metres' length forms the monumental axis of the city, which together with secondary colonnaded cross streets links the major public monuments including the Temple of Ba'al, Diocletian's Camp, the Agora, Theatre, other temples and urban quarters. The Arab castle built 1,000 years after the Romans overlooks the town. less

Tartus and Arwad

Tartus and Arwad

Tartus goes back to the 2nd millennium BC. The Crusaders occupied it in the …more Tartus goes back to the 2nd millennium BC. The Crusaders occupied it in the 12th century, called it Tortosa and made it an important center of the Crusades. Today it is an important commercial and military port. Tartus is the last Russian military base outside the former Soviet Union. Arwad is the only inhabited island in Syria. and is located 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from Tartus, The island was settled in the early 2nd millennium BC by the Phoenicians. Its inhabitants are mentioned in the early lists of Genesis and Ezekiel. During the later part of the 13th century, the Crusades built a fortress on the island which was used as a or staging area for battle. less

Aleppo

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Apulia Wine Tour promo

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The region of Apulia with 1000 hours more sunlight a year than the rest of the …moreThe region of Apulia with 1000 hours more sunlight a year than the rest of the country make superb wines.Let iexplore guide you on this magical Luxury wine tour. You ‘ll toast with top winemakers and will be dazzled by Apulia’s richness of wine, art and food…. Right next to Castel del Monte is the Rivera winery and the unique terrain here is the reason for outstanding wines like Falcone. Mr. Cocevola with a working farm near the Castle produces also a superior wines likeVandalo. The restaurant Corte in Fiore in Trani has won many awards.You will love it. Trani boasts a spectacular 13th Century Cathedrals right on the Adriatic sea water with splendid frescoes and mosaics. You’ll be staying at a 500 year old farmhouse locally called Masseria hidden in the midst of an ancient olive grove. Today Masseria Torre Coccaro is a 5 star resort where you’ll begin to understand the magical allure of Puglia. Alberobello is famous for its 1,500 conical trulli homes. Today it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site. Stroll through the hilltop town of Martina Franca, a beautiful baroque city full of great churches and palazzos. Enjoy Masseria Torre Coccaro’s private beach on the Adriatic sea. Or retreat to their cool spa built in a cave. Ostuni known as "the White Town" is an architectural jewel with a striking medieval cathedral and endless winding streets to get lost in. At Torre Coccaro the Chef will seduce you with his delicious cuisine. Be wisked by private boat for a swim in the crystal-water coves of Monopoli. Brindisi has been a major wine grower since roman times. Luigi Rubino holds his wine tasting at the restaurant Penny in a 12th Century building in order to highlight food pairing. Be swept away by his superb red called Torre Testa . Cantine Due Palme, is a co-operative of 1,000 growers specializing in local grape varieties. Taste their top wine Selvarossa with the enologyst and Director Angelo Maci. Lecce is nicknamed "The Florence of the South" because of the rich Baroque architectural monuments carved out of the local white stone. In Lecce you’ll stay at the Hotel Risorgimento, a five star Luxury Hotel in a spectacular 18th Century Palace in the heart of town . Have lunch at Atenze a landmark restaurant housed in a baroque palace with superb Apulian specialties. Taste Leone de Castris Salice Salentino Donna Lisa, the top wine of the collection. You’ll enjoy spectacular views of the harbour from Palazzo Papaleo, your own 5 star palazzo . Explore Otranto and its medieval monuments. After this magical tour with iexplore.com, Apulia will have carved out a place in your heart forever. For more information on this privately guided, dream luxury wine tour call us at 1-800 iexplore or visit iexplore.com less

Bethlehem: Church of the Nativity

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The Church of the Nativity is a basilica located in Bethlehem, Palestinian terr…moreThe Church of the Nativity is a basilica located in Bethlehem, Palestinian territories, and is considered to be the oldest continuously operating Christian church in the world. The church was originally commissioned in 327 AD by Constantine and his mother Helena over the site that is still traditionally considered to be located over the cave that marks the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth. The Church of the Nativity site's original basilica was completed in 339 AD and destroyed by fire during the Samaritan Revolts in the sixth century AD. A new basilica was built 565 AD by the Byzantine Empire, restoring the architectural tone of the original. The site has had numerous additions since this second construction, including its prominent bell towers. Due to its cultural and geographical history, the site holds a prominent religious significance to those of both the Christian and Muslim faiths. The site of the Church of the Nativity is a World Heritage Site, and was the first to be listed under Palestine by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The site is also on UNESCO's List of World Heritage Sites in Danger. The church is administered jointly by Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic authorities. All three traditions maintain monastic communities on the site The structure of the site. of the Church of the Nativity is a combination of two churches and a crypt beneath—the Grotto of the Nativity where tradition states that Jesus of Nazareth was born and a fourteen-point silver star, beneath the altar in the Grotto marks the traditional spot believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ. less

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