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Considered one of the most important historic monuments in Syria, Bimaristan Argun's significance is not only architectural, but also medical. It was the world's first psychiatric institution, at a time when the mentally challenged in Europe might have been neglected or worse imprisoned, here in Aleppo they were provided with precise medical treatments. The Mamluke-era palatial institution was built in 1354 AD by the governor of Aleppo, Argun al-Kamili. The arched stalactite portal leads into a spacious courtyard with a central pool and arched porticos. Beyond the courtyard are small cells designed to provide patients with specific treatments using light, water, sound, plants and music. Bimaristan Argun is now a museum detailing the methods practised here to cure mental patients.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Based on a Youtube video posted in October 2012, Bimaristan Argun suffered some damage from the shelling by the Syrian government forces. Parts of the edge of the roof in the courytard were hit and fell into the courtyard. Fortunately, the rest of the structure seemed to remain intact.
Updated Dec 13, 2012
Address: Sharia Bab Qinnesrin
Built by the Ottoman governor, Behram Pasha, in 1583, al-Bahramiya Mosque is yet another example of Ottoman architecture in Aleppo. It has multiple domes and the typical pencil-shaped minaret, which fell in an earthquake and was rebuilt in 1698. The exterior of the mosque, though, is much simpler than other Ottoman mosques in Aleppo. Al-Bahramiya is located in the heart of the souk, next to Madrassa al-Muqaddamiyya, on the main east-west axis of the souk.
UPDATE: In October, 2012, the courtyard entrance suffered some damage in the fight between the government and the Free Syrian Army. Fortunately, based on the Youtube footage I've seen, the main mosque structure seemed intact. Let's hope no further damage occurs.
Updated Dec 12, 2012
Also known as al-Sahibiya Mosque, al-Fustuq Mosque is of earlier Mamluke-period construction. It was built in 1349, originally as a madrassa (religious school), but was later turned into a mosque. It has a beautiful stalactite (muqarnas) portal and is located between Khan al-Wazir and Khan al-Sabun.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Based on footage I've seen posted to Youtube on 25 Nov 2012, the buildings opposite al-Fustuq Mosque were severely damaged in shelling by the Syrian government and a section of this mosque may have also been damaged.
Updated Dec 12, 2012
Address: Sharia al-Jamea al-Omawi (Omayyad Mosque St)
Also referred to as Madrassa Badriya and Kamaliya Mosque, al-Khwajah Mosque dates from early 13th century. It is located off the main east-west axis of the souk, close to Bab Antakya and around the corner from Khan al-Tutun as-Saghir. The narrow façade of the mosque is decorated with a beautiful high muqarnas archway topped by a rather oversized, but elegant polygonal minaret. The crown of the minaret is supported by intricate muqarnas work and a lone hexagram decorates it halfway up. Unlike other ancient structures in Aleppo, this mosque has no sign posted outside, which made it rather difficult to identify, and none of my guide books even showed it. After some internet research, I finally found a description here, though the author had as much difficulty as I did in identifying it.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: In October, 2012, the entire top half of the minaret was tragically destroyed by the indiscriminate shelling by the government of Syria.
Updated Nov 3, 2012
It poured cats and dogs whilst we were there in March 2006 but it was still fun! Somehow the place reminded me of Barcelona (where I lived on and off for a while) but without the Western art.
The Tourath House Hotel (see tip) was a good base.
Whilst in the city we visited the Citadel: it stands, high above other buildings, on a mound surrounded by a dry moat. The passages within the castle twist and turn. The lumps of stone used to build the place are huge! Go in to the furnished rooms where visiting dignitaries are still entertained. The room with the throne is especially humbling; whilst inside try to time your route so that you're near a tour party ---the tour leader sometimes slips the officials a few notes to have lights switched on.
Also, from the throne room there are toilets ---better than those near the exit/entrance.
Eating? Try the local cafe just across from the entrance to the Citadel ---mix with the locals!
The souk is great!
Aleppo is a 'must' if you're visiting Syria. I shall certainly return for longer ----one day!
Updated Jul 25, 2012
The Maysaloun Park is located just across the road from the Ancient Cemetery. It is a beautiful parks in the city as others as well.The park is full of pine trees and with fresh breeze. Look out for the mosque in the northeast corner of the park, which is open to visitors.
Written Feb 12, 2012
General Information about SHAHBA MALL:
Shahba Mall & Hotel is a civilized edifice in Syria- Aleppo. Its total area is about 130,000 square meters containing a 4 stars hotel of 220 rooms. The total leasable area of the mall is 40,000 square meters. It is located on Aleppo- Turkey highway. It is 6 km away from Aleppo downtown and 1.5 km away of districts Shahba & Al Zahraa .
Shahba Mall is the first shopping center of its kind in Syria because it combines the best place ever found in Aleppo to the best brands ever found in the region. Kurdi Group, witch is very experienced in malls management, has been managing Shahbamall since it opened in 2008.
The feature of this floor is that it contains the well know hypermarket /Carrefour/. Also, you will find banks, cafes, optic stores and electronics stores.
This floor is dedicated to the young and trendy with a medium price point; some brands present are: Vero Moda, Jack n Jones, Springfield, Benetton, Geox ,Echo, Lc Waikiki, Clarx ….etc.
This floor is dedicated to age group 25 up wards with medium - high price point. Some brands present are: Mango, Stefanel, Promod, Pares Gallery, Zara, Oxygen, Boss…etc.
This floor is specialized in kids wear and home accessories. Some brands present in this floor: Martello, Orchestra, Mother Care, Chico, Number one, Lafander….etc.
This floor is specialized in restaurants, fast food.
It contains 7 cinemas as well as1500 meters of kid’s games and entertainment
Written Feb 11, 2012
Address: Ghazi antab street
also known as the Place of miscarriage). As the prisoners of Karbalā were passing through Aleppo, one of wives of Husayn had a miscarriage.The still-born child was named Muhsin, and buried at this place.
Updated Feb 11, 2012
Masjid al Nuqtah: mosque of the drop,f the blood of Husein.Located in Mountain Jawshan in Aleppo.
The Key feature is a stone believed to be stained with the blood of Husein.Important for Shiee Muslims
Updated Feb 11, 2012
Set up by Prince Kurdish tiles at the end of the sixteenth century and then was bought by Bey. Iwan and the largest in Aleppo with a larger pool.
You will be fascinated by the amazing archi. inside and the wad it has been designed.
Written Feb 11, 2012
Beit Salahieh Hotel Aleppo
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