Aleppo, Syria, November 2005:  With the escalating conflict in Syria spreading to the country’s largest city, Aleppo, it’s about time I made a post about this ancient city. Also, over the coming weeks and months I will be publishing more images and stories from the Middle East in general, as it continues to fracture and change…

The Citadel of Aleppo is considered to be one of the largest and oldest castles in the world. Usage of the Citadel hill dates back to at least the 3rd millenium BC, around the same time as the construction of the Pyramid’s of Giza.

Aleppo, contrary to many reports, is the most populous city in Syria with just over two million inhabitants. Like the slightly smaller capital Damascus, it is also one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.

The Citadel is certainly one of the most imposing structures I’ve visited. The mound the Citadel sits on is approximately 450m long by 320 meters wide, with a 22m deep (30 meter wide) moat surrounding it. It has changed hands many times over the millenia: Seleucid, Roman/Byzantium, Zengid and Ayyubid, Mongol and Mamluk; Ottoman…

I didn’t explore the Citadel for very long as I felt somewhat paranoid- like I was being followed… Maybe my instincts were correct, as the secret police (Mukhabarat) and their informants were everywhere-  as I would find out later on from some fellow travellers…

2 thoughts on “Citadel

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