Aleppo Travel Guide

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Qala'at Saint Simon

Qala'at Saint Simon

Arch.Haytham Hasan

Aleppo is one of the most interesting cities in the Middle East. The old centre, the citadel and the Jdeide quarter are main sights. The old town is one big maze of streets, but luckily the parts around it are a bit more organized.

Baron street is one major axis of town. At the crossing with al Kouwatly street you will find hotels, travel agencies, transport company offices, as well as some restaurants and food shops and cool fruit juice bars. A left turn from the Baron street into the al Kouwatly street brings you to a wide esplanade recently planted out as public gardens, dominated by the Post Office and bordered on the north by a public park. The river Quweiq flows through it and it is famous for its floral displays. (It is dry today because Turkey stopped its flow years ago).

In the other direction the al Kouwatly street crosses the al Gassaniyn street (sometimes called the Tilal street), one of the busiest streets in Aleppo. On the right, it widens to form a square, the Bab al Faraj, whose clock-tower has served at least as a landmark and from here, one can easily reach either the old city or the museum. The al Gassaniyn to the left skirts the Jdeideh, "old houses" quarter, with its marvelously decorated courtyards. St. George's Cathedral stands behind a labyrinth of narrow streets on a tiny square where there are several antique shops.

Once in the center. the citadel is your main point of reference. There is a circular road around the foot of the Citadel. To the south, wide avenues give access to some interesting madrassas and mosques on the way to Bab al Makkam, a working district where there are many warehouses. To the north of the Citadel the street al Kawakbi crosses the eastern end of the street al Kouwatly near the picturesque souk of the coppersmiths.

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