The Jupiter Temple in Damascus - Credit: Ai@ce
‘Damascene’ refers to someone from the city of Damascus.
Damascus is the oldest still-inhabited city in the world, the capital of Syria. Settled in the 3rd millennium BC, the city in the Levant’s political power has somewhat waned since its founding, but it is still an important religious and cultural
The Straight Street in the Old City of Damascus - Credit: Mappo
capital. The population today is around 1,711,000, most of whom are Sunni Muslims
, and it was chosen as the Arab Capital of Culture in 2008
. Historical sites include the Citadel of Damascus
and the Umayyad Mosque
, although many of Ancient Damascus
’ ruins lie buried underground. In recent years the Old City has seen much emigration to the newer suburbs, and is considered to be one of the most endangered historical sites in the world, due to the old buildings falling into disrepair and a new ‘redevelopment scheme’ of the government which is demolishing those remaining. Despite UNESCO World Heritage Site
protection and over five thousand years of history, it looks as those this beautiful and ancient city will soon be irrevocably damaged.