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Home > Images Dated > 2008 > August > 24 Aug 2008

Images Dated 24th August 2008

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Castle & Ruins of Palmyra, Syria Featured 24 Aug 2008 Image

Castle & Ruins of Palmyra, Syria

A dust filled sky as sand storms sweep across the ruins of Palmyra. The weathered monuments of the ancient city of Palmyra in the foreground. Behind these, perched on the highest hill overlooking Palmyra and the oasis, is the castle of Fakhr ud-Din ibn Ma'ani. Qalaat Ibn Maan. Palmyra is an oasis in the Syrian Desert, north-east of Damascus. Palmyra contains the monumental ruins of a great city that was one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world. From the 1st to the 2nd century, the art and architecture of Palmyra, standing at the crossroads of several civilisations, married Greco-Roman techniques with local traditions and Persian influences. The castle was probably built in the 13th century by the Mamelukes. Although by then the city of Palmyra had long since declined, this was a key strategic position on the trading routes and guarded a reliable water supply, making it well worth defending. The castle takes its name from a Druze emir who liberated much of Lebanon and Syria from Ottoman rule in the first half of the 17th century. The ruined city of Palmyra was discovered by European travellers in the 17th and 18th centuries, contributing greatly to the subsequent revival of classical architectural styles and urban design in the West