July 22, 2001 – Aleppo




Around 9 am, we go to the citadel that is very impressive from the outside. It was built in 12-13th century, the hill is 40m high, and the ramparts covered the whole site and are 12m high. From the ramparts, a weathering joins a big ditch (38m wide) that circles the hill.


Aleppo : The weathering of the citadel


The entrance is very massive and was very tricky in wartime. Instead of building the door in front of the drawbridge (today replaced by stairs), the door is located on the right side to avoid the use of a ram to break in.


Aleppo : The entrance of the citadel


Inside the citadel, we are astonished by the size of the rooms and it is almost by surprise that we enter the royal room (24m by 27m), beautifully restored. This room is with the covered way for the 360° view, the best part of the citadel. Today the citadel is big excavation site with many parts still buried in the ground.


Aleppo : View on the city


In an alley I meet Bertrand and Jacqueline who have finished the visit and take a bus to Homs and Palmyra in the next hours.


Eugenia is not well today, so we bring her back to the hotel to have a rest. While Eugenia is trying to sleep, we decide to go the national museum of Aleppo. The entrance of the museum is a copy of the one in Tell Halaf with three basalt statues. The most surprising thing is that we are nearly alone in the museum, only a group of tourist overtaken us by doing the quickest visit of the museum without admiring the magnificent items. Some of them have been made 5 millenniums ago. One of these items is a goddess represented in a human size holding a vase, and an hydraulic system enables water to flow from it on demand. In a room we see a vase that looks like the one Massimo bought in Apamea.


After this knowledgeable visit, we eat a wonderful sandwich in a crowded restaurant, an excellent address for Falafel. The owner offers us a glass of milk to drink while eating. We come back at the hotel to have some news of Eugenia who is still suffering and don’t find sleep.


Eugenia tells us to visit the Armenian district. The neighbourhood is very nice with a lot of alleys where you can easily be lost. That is what we did a lot, they are all the same.


Aleppo : typical alley in the Armenian district


Finally we find the Sissi House restaurant and our location on the map. We visit near the restaurant a middle class residence that is under restoration to be transformed in a museum. As always no distinction from the outside but a well done organization inside, many rooms, a private hammam and the traditional square in the middle.


The district also has many churches: a Greek Orthodox church unfortunately closed, a Maronite one but there is a service in progress and the beautiful Armenian cathedral of the 40 martyrs. We hesitate to enter because our clothes do not fit the place but Armenians who celebrate the baptism of a child welcome us. The inside is really beautiful and offers a great contrast compared with the insides of the mosques. We stay for the baptism of a little girl and we exit to come back to the hotel.


Eugenia suffers from high temperature (40°), which is not good under this climate. She was a little bit ill while being in Lebanon and maybe she suffers now from dehydration. We go quickly to a pharmacy to buy salted powder to fight this problem. I also have some medicines that will be helpful in her case. After this first treatment, we go to the market in order to buy some bananas.


Tonight the ambiance is not the same without Eugenia. We go to the Al Koumeh, neighbor of the Al Kindi. The restaurant is at the top of the building and it is an open terrace on the sides with a great view on the citadel. We eat quickly to let Massimo be with his wife.





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D1 : Lyons – Damascus

D2 : Damascus (1)  (2)

D3 : Damascus

D4 : Damascus – Palmyra

D5 : Palmyra – Hama

D6 : Hama – Apamea – Aleppo

D7 : Aleppo

D8 : Aleppo

D9 : Aleppo

D10 : Aleppo – San Simeon – Aleppo

D11 : Aleppo – Qalaat Al Saadin – Tartous (1)  (2)

D12 : Tartous – Krak des chevaliers – Beirut (1)  (2)

D13 : Beirut – Tripoli

D14 : Tripoli – Damascus

D15 : Damascus – Maaloula – Damascus

D16 : Damascus

D17 : Damascus – Bosra – Damascus

D18 : Damascus – Amman – Dead Sea – Amman

D19 : Amman – Jerash - Amman

D20 : Amman – Madaba – Amman

D21 : Amman – Kerak – Dana

D22 : Dana

D23 : Dana – Petra (1)  (2)

D24 : Petra

D25 : Petra

D26 : Petra – Wadi Rum

D27 : Wadi Rum – Aqaba

D28 : Aqaba

D29 : Aqaba

D30 : Aqaba

D31 : Aqaba

D32 : Aqaba - Amman

D33 : Amman

D34 : Amman – Lyons




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Last update : January 2002

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