weekend away - Damascus
Written by Oryx
The oldest continuously inhabited city in the world has ancient streets packed with Orthodox churches, Ottoman palaces and stunning mosques. Souks burst with carpets and brassware, Islamic art bedazzles in museums, and the dining and hotel scene is stepping out with considerable chic.
Stroll down the old town of Damascus and you’ll find a timeless quality and great atmosphere: souks piled with honeycombs, homewares, and sacks of spice. Syrians barter in loud voices and flash smiles at passers-by. Above, venerable madrasas (Islamic theology schools), mosques, and the odd Roman ruin loom.
Sprit of Damascus
STAY in an Old City boutique hotel, many of which offer stylish recreations of Damascus during the Ottoman era. Talisman has period furnishings in each of its 16 individual guestrooms, as well as a courtyard pool and hammam.
These splendid museums cover 3,000 years of history.
? There’s no better showcase of Syria’s longevity than the National Museum, where visitors can admire the world’s first alphabet on Ugarit tablets (14th century BC), as well as rich Greek and Roman collections, Phoenician glassware, and a reconstructed 2nd century synagogue.