Fanack Home / Syria / Society, Media & Culture of Syria / Culture of Syria / Museums in Syria

Museums in Syria

Syria has many archaeological and artistic treasures. Unfortunately, many museums or archaeological sites are in dire need of maintenance and/or renovation. In addition, little attention seems to be paid to the need to preserve an archaeological site, or to make it more attractive and more accessible.

Among the many archaeological and architectural treasures, the temple complex in Palmyra and the Roman theatre in Bosra (see UNESCO World Heritage List) are some of the most impressive. Among the first Christian monuments are the well-preserved ruins of ad Qalat Semaan (Dayr Saman), a 5th century Byzantine church dedicated to Saint Simeon. In the same region, around Aleppo, several ‘Dead Cities’, abandoned villages, can be visited.

The Old City of Aleppo is also listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. It has a vast souk, and its Great Mosque was built by the sixth Umayyad Caliph al-Walid I, who earlier built the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus. In 1260, the Mosque in Aleppo was destructed by the Mongols. East of the Old City rises the Citadel. The Citadel was built by the Ayyubids during the 12th century, and was later extended and strengthened by the Mamluks.

In Damascus, the Umayyad Mosque (UNESCO World Heritage List) attracts hundreds of tourists every day. It was also built by the sixth Umayyad Caliph Walid I in the 8th century on the site of a Christian church, which in turn had replaced a Roman temple. The National Museum in Damascus, hidden behind a shady Sculpture Garden, exhibits archaeological finds from all the important archaeological sites in Syria, from the ancient city of Ugarit to Palmyra. It also contains an old synagogue (3rd century), found in Dura-Europos, which was removed from the site and rebuilt in the museum.

The ruins of Palmyra (Photo Shutterstock)
The Umayyad Mosque in Damascus (Photo Shutterstock)
The National Museum in Damascus

We would like to ask you something …

Fanack is an independent media organisation, not funded by any state or any interest group, that distributes in the Middle East and the wider world unbiased analysis and background information, based on facts, about the Middle East and North Africa.

The website grew rapidly in breadth and depth and today forms a rich and valuable source of information on 21 countries, from Morocco to Oman and from Iran to Yemen, both in Arabic and English. We currently reach six million readers annually and growing fast.

In order to guarantee the impartiality of information on the Chronicle, articles are published without by-lines. This also allows correspondents to write more freely about sensitive or controversial issues in their country. All articles are fact-checked before publication to ensure that content is accurate, current and unbiased.

To run such a website is very expensive. With a small donation, you can make a huge impact. And it only takes a minute. Thank you.