SYRIA: World Heritage Sites Destroyed by War

Several cultural sites throughout Syria have been significantly damaged since the start of Syrian Civil War. Harm has come to all six of Syria’s registered sites on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. By their date of inscription, these are: the Ancient City of Damascus (1979), the Ancient City of Bosra (1980), the Site of Palmyra (1980), the Ancient City of Aleppo (1986), the Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (2006), and the Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (2011). This graphic illustrates four of the six.

World Heritage List: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/

Damaged World Heritage Sites
Damaged World Heritage Sites

Crac de Chevaliers

Perhaps one of the best-preserved examples of the Crusader castles, Crac de Chevaliers sits high above the Syrian landscape on a 2,130 ft. hill. Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, at least three events occurred that left damage to the castle. One particular shelling event in August 2012 left the Crusader Chapel damaged.

Ancient City of Bosra

Bosra is a major archaeological site, containing ruins from Roman, Byzantine, and Muslim times. Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, a number of probable shell craters appeared within the site, including a hole in the roof of the Al-Omari Mosque.

Ancient City of Aleppo

Aleppo is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Located at the crossroads of several trade routes from the 2nd millennium B.C., Aleppo was ruled by many different empires. In spring 2013, it was reported that the minaret of the Great Mosque of Aleppo had been destroyed during the fighting.

Site of Palmyra

Palmyra contains the monumental ruins of a great city that was one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world. During the Syrian civil war, fighting has caused several of the columns to collapse. Additionally grave robbers have stolen numerous objects from Palmyra’s tombs.

One thought on “SYRIA: World Heritage Sites Destroyed by War”

  1. Not only is Syria s future at stake as the civil war rages on, but now also its past. The black market flourishing in the conflict now sees relics – some as old as 1,200 years – traded by rebels for guns.

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