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I am in love with Damascus.  And besides the fact that it’s steeped in history and culture (it’s the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world!), what I love most about Damascus is its people.  Damascene natives are referred to as Shami and they are an amazing group.  They are very talented craftspeople, taking an immense amount of pride not only in their craftsmanship, but in their culture and city as well. 

One of the things I really love about the Shami culture is the old Damascene homes with their lovely characteristic black basalt and white limestone architecture, which makes for a beautiful contrast in colors.  From the outside, Damascene homes look fortress-like, but inside they are open and airy, often with a decorated courtyard that’s open to the sky and contains a tranquil water fountain, blossoming trees, and often jasmine.  A few of my other favorite elements present in many Damascene homes are cool marble floors, huge mirrors adorned in carved wooden frames, intricate mosaic furniture, and ornate Islamic calligraphic wall hangings.

Al Azem Palace was built in the 18th Century and is a beautiful example of traditional Damascene architecture…

Here are a few of my favorite shots of Old Damascus, along with a few other places around Syria…

Bab Sharqi, the Eastern Gate of Damascus

I love the winding, labyrinth-like roads in Old Damascus.  This picture was taken at night when the streets were bathed with glowing yellow streetlights, which resulted in the sepia-like hue you see in this photo.

A Midan street scene at night…

Mount Kassioun overlooks Damascus and has a stunning view of the city at night.  Something interesting about this mountain…do you remember the story about Adam’s sons Cain and Abel in the Bible?  It is believed that this mountain is the place where Cain killed his brother Abel.  Here is the view of Damascus at night from the mountain top…

Al Hijaz Train Station…

On the way to Zabadani, Syria…

The weather really was that dismal and the trees really were that strange shade of green…but it made for a cool picture.

Yarmouk, a Palestinian refugee community in Syria outside Damascus…

Since Mike and I left Syria less than two weeks ago, things there have become significantly more dangerous.  This post is dedicated to the people of Syria.  I ask that you keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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  1. It was a dream of mine to visit Damascus and Syria, and I was able to in late 2010. So, so beautiful and sad how things have developed. Amazing food!

  2. Faith, I’m glad that you and Mike got to experience a peaceful Damascus on your visit. I loved looking at all your pictures, and couldn’t help but wonder what it must be like now. So much tumult in that part of the world now.

  3. Those buildings and the architecture really are stunning. My hubby would love to look at things like that all day. You took many great shots. I love that night one on top of the mountain. Thanks for sharing, Faith. Glad you guys left before it started getting dangerous.

  4. Thank you for sharing such stunning photos of such a historical and beautiful place. It’s such a treat to get to travel through blogs to places I cannot get to right now.

  5. Faith

    Your pics are amazing! I knew that Damascus was supposed to be beautiful but had no idea how much! The white and black stone buildings vaguely remind me of the church in Florence with the white and green stone stripes. I’d love to visit Syria sometime.

  6. These buildings are beautiful. All the more b/c they are steeped in such a rich, old culture. Thanks for sharing!!

  7. 5 Star Foodie says:

    Fascinating destination and your photos are gorgeous. I do hope the situation in Syria improves soon.

  8. I will definitely keep them in my thought and prayers. What a beautiful city! My sister would be salivating to see it (she’s an architect). I love the “sepia” picture you took, and the view of the city from the mountain at night. I’m glad you had a wonderful time, Faith! I hope things settle down there soon.

  9. I almost can’t get enough of your Syrian travel pics Faith, its a country I’m fascinated with but will probably never travel to, you’ve given us a peep into a very fascinating & foreign land for me. Love the architecture, so interesting.

  10. Beautiful beautiful shots. I love the architectures, the view from the mountain, churches and the road. My thoughts and prayers are also with the people there. It’s definitely a city i would like to visit one day.

  11. Damascus looks beautiful! Frankly, I thought it was a lot like India – dirty, a little disorganized, etc. – but it looks a lot like Morocco! So pretty and full of character. I can’t wait to visit!

  12. Stunning photos! What a gorgeous place! Thanks for sharing.

  13. I’m not sure when I’ll get to go to Syria (although I WILL someday) but it’s been so much fun living vicariously through you in this post…and it’s only fueled my desire to go even more. Beautiful place!

  14. Lovely photos, Faith. Things are quite frightening there now and I’m so glad you didn’t get caught up in any of it.
    BTW: I loved your asparagus risotto post. I’ve often fried risotto with some cheese when I’ve had it left over. Fontina was such a great choice.

  15. Thanks for this visual tour.Awesome pictures of the city and around!I really wish to visit these middle eastern countries some day.

  16. What a historically rich place!!! I really just want to leave everything behind and go traveling.

    I’m so glad you’re back, Faith! Just not the same without you.

  17. Wow! I just love these, Faith. :-) How I’d enjoy ambling through those shaded streets, feeling that cool marble, seeing those gorgeous lanterns. :-)

  18. What amazing pictures…the architecture is fantastic! Thanks for sharing these with us :) Hope you have a great weekend

  19. Heavenly Housewife says:

    What wonderful pictures of such a stunning city!
    *kisses* HH

  20. What beautiful photos, and thank you for sharing your wonderful experience with your readers. I think I could fall in love with Damascus, too, based on your photos!

  21. I think I’m enjoying your trip almost as much as you are. I love your pictures. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  22. I love all of these beautiful photos of your trip… keep them coming!

  23. Faith,

    First off, you are a fantastic photographer, you’ve taken some amazing photos. What a lovely country, I would enjoy visiting there someday.

    My best to the people of Syria.

  24. What a beautiful city. The people of Syria are in my thoughts and prayers. I cannot imagine living in a place not at peace. Scary.

  25. That city is indescribably beautiful and I’m so glad you could share it with us in pictures! Amazing.

  26. What a mystic n intriguing place- Thanks for the opportunity to see a new place through your eyes.
    US Masala

  27. Were you visiting there? Sorry I was disconnected from the world for a bit. It is sad that there are some many problems over there. What a beautiful city!

  28. It’s full of old world charm and is a beautiful place – love the view at night! I’m glad you’re home safe! The stuff that’s going on is scary.

  29. The arches and tile work are so unique and breathtaking. Thanks for letting us visit vicariously through your lovely photos.

  30. Faith, such a fabulous journey you went on! Old Damascus is spectacular. Love that the buildings allow in such beautiful natural light-now if we could only set up our photo studios there. Could you imagine??!! Thanks for bringing the exotic travel to us!

  31. Amazing pictures Faith. I adore historical and cultural cities. The architecture is so elegant. I hope they find better days soon again.

  32. What incredible architecture! Looks like a great place to visit and see so many things different than here. Beautiful photos! Hope things get better for the people over there and the danger lessens considerably.

  33. what an interesting place to visit! I’d love to go there one day, it’s so exotic! :)

  34. What amazing photographs. I love the concept of the old Damascene homes and the people sound incredible. I’m glad you guys left before things got more dangerous- but what a trip

  35. I just love old world places. So authentic and natural. While in Turkey, the local people were so hospitable. Even though we didn’t dine in the restaurant, the owner still offered us Turkish tea! So sweet…glad you had a wonderful trip.

  36. Thanks for sharing wonderful pictures indicating the history and culture.

  37. Great pictures! I’m really enjoying them! There is so much history there, it makes things so much more interesting :)

  38. What wonderful photographs. Those night markets really appeal to me. I love them whereever we go. It sounds like this was a wonderful trip. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  39. What beautiful pictures! My favorite has to sepia toned picture of the labyrinth style street. So beautiful.

    I’m glad you are home and safe and the Middle East is in my prayers.

  40. Gorgeous! The architecture and detail is stunning! Love the street shot with the bunting across the street. How wonderful that you got to visit such an amazing place…sending my thoughts and prayers to the people of Syria.

  41. Oh, beautiful! I’d love to visit such places.



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