Facts and Data

Official Unesco Page
Old town of Damascus, (Syrian Ministry of Tourism)
View photos from OUR PLACE the World Heritage collection

Basis Data:
Unesco World heritage since: 1979
Size of heritage: 86 ha
- Buffer zone: 43 ha

Longitude: 36,306°
Latitude: 33,511°


Founded in the 3rd millennium B.C., Damascus is one of the oldest cities in the Middle East. In the Middle Ages, it was the centre of a flourishing craft industry, specializing in swords and lace. The city has some 125 monuments from different periods of its history – one of the most spectacular is the 8th-century Great Mosque of the Umayyads, built on the site of an Assyrian sanctuary.

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The Ancient City of Damascus, located in the Administrative District of Damascus, Syria, is a UNESCO World Heritage site of immense historical and cultural significance. With a history dating back over 4,000 years, this ancient city has witnessed the rise and fall of numerous civilizations, leaving behind a rich tapestry of architectural marvels and cultural heritage.

Historical Significance

Damascus is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, with evidence of human settlement dating back to the 2nd millennium BCE. Throughout its history, it has been a crossroads for trade and cultural exchange, attracting various civilizations such as the Arameans, Assyrians, Greeks, Romans, and Muslims. Under the Roman Empire, Damascus flourished as a major trading hub along the Silk Road. The city's architectural splendor reached its zenith during the Umayyad Caliphate (661-750 CE), when it served as the capital of the Islamic world. The Umayyad Mosque, a masterpiece of early Islamic architecture, stands as a testament to this golden age.

Architectural Marvels

The Ancient City of Damascus is renowned for its exceptional architectural heritage. The Umayyad Mosque, also known as the Great Mosque of Damascus, is a prime example of Islamic architecture. Its grand courtyard, adorned with intricate mosaics and marble columns, is a sight to behold. The mosque's iconic minaret, the Minaret of Jesus, is one of the oldest surviving minarets in the world. Another architectural gem is the Citadel of Damascus, a fortified palace complex that has stood since the 3rd millennium BCE. Over the centuries, it has been expanded and renovated by various rulers, including the Ayyubids and Mamluks. From its ramparts, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the ancient city. The Ancient City of Damascus is also famous for its traditional courtyard houses, known as "Damascene houses." These houses feature exquisite craftsmanship, with intricately carved wooden screens, colorful tiles, and serene courtyards. Walking through the narrow streets of the Old City, visitors can immerse themselves in the charm of these historic dwellings.

Current State

Tragically, the Ancient City of Damascus has been severely affected by the ongoing conflict in Syria. The civil war, which began in 2011, has resulted in significant damage to the city's cultural heritage. The Umayyad Mosque has suffered from shelling, and several historic buildings and neighborhoods have been destroyed or damaged. Despite the challenges, efforts are underway to preserve and restore the Ancient City of Damascus. UNESCO, in collaboration with local authorities and international partners, is working to safeguard the remaining cultural heritage and support the recovery of the city. These efforts include documentation, emergency stabilization, and capacity-building initiatives. While the current state of the Ancient City of Damascus is a cause for concern, its historical and cultural significance cannot be understated. It remains a symbol of resilience and a testament to the enduring spirit of humanity. With continued efforts and international support, there is hope that this UNESCO World Heritage site will be restored to its former glory, allowing future generations to appreciate its remarkable history and architectural wonders.

Hotels and places to stay


Distance: 0,7 mi
303 01 Damaskus

Time Information

Checkout: 12:00 - Checkin: 12:00
Weekday: -
Weekend: closed


Distance: 0,9 mi

Time Information

Checkout: - Checkin: 15:00
Weekday: -
Weekend: closed


Distance: 3,6 mi
000 Damaskus

Time Information

Checkout: - Checkin: 14:00
Weekday: -
Weekend: closed

Videos from the area

تلج بالشام - Snow in Damascus

Published: November 25, 2014
Length: 39:53 min
Rating: 5 of 5
Author: أحمد أبو الخير

لقطات من استقبال دمشق للعاصفة أليكسا بتاريخ 13-12-2013.

أغنية نادي الوحدة الدمشقي (جوا الشام) Alwahdeh Club , Damascus Syria

Published: August 19, 2012
Length: 43:40 min
Rating: 5 of 5
Author: Housena Syria

تأسس سنة : 1928 كل نادي الوحدة الملقب ( بالبرتقالة الدمشقية ) ركيزة أساسية من ركائز رياضة العاصمة خاصة والرياضة...

Umayyaden Moschee Damaskus

Published: March 14, 2012
Length: 28:17 min
Rating: 5 of 5
Author: 19astrid57

Rundgang durch die Umayyadenmoschee in Damaskus.

al athan in Umayyad Mosque throw 100 years_أذان الجامع الأموي دمشق خلال 100 عام

Published: March 05, 2014
Length: 18:26 min
Rating: 5 of 5
Author: Sono Souna

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