Results 1-3of 3 Reviews
Halab, H'alab, Syria
December 5, 2010
by Liam Hetherington
Manchester, United Kingdom
March 8, 2010
From journal Aleppo: The Souq At The End Of The Silk Route
September 20, 2004
The mound on top of which the Citadel sits, is so perfectly shaped, that you would assume it to be artificial, but in fact it is perfectly natural, having been worn to that shape over time. Indeed, the Citadel is its most impressive from the outside where you can stare at the walls, the moat, and the bridge and wonder just how one would even go about trying to capture the fort, but it is still definitely worth it to take a look inside. The Citadel is currently undergoing a huge restoration at the hands of Germans and Syrians, but there is still plenty to see. Actually, visiting it in this state of rehabilitation is a bit of advantage because the site hasn’t been packaged up for the tourists yet. You are completely free to wonder wherever you want and nobody will stop you. As long as you can walk there, you can go see it. Undoubtedly, when the restorations are complete, the Citadel will just be a serious of ropes and "Do Not Enter" signs guiding tourists along a set path. But for now you can enjoy exploring on your own, coming across secret passages and rooms where you will be the only one around.
Much of the restoration is being dedicated to the various rooms of the Citadel such as the baths and the mosques, so that they can be restored for future tourists, but there are still some rooms that are open now that are plenty impressive. One is a small mosque with a nice pine-shaded courtyard and another is the Sultan’s baths, but the most impressive is the throne room, a lavishly decorated room with chandeliers and mosaics that looks like it belongs in Topkap?, not Aleppo. Make sure to see these last, as from here you can descend down the "secret exit" and enjoy looking down through the grates at tourists passing through the main entrance below.
The other main reason to head up to the Citadel is, of course, for the views. From here you can see all of Aleppo, a city that is much larger than you would think. Still, though it’s fun to stand at the edge of the walls and imagine what it was like to be an Ayyubid soldier staring out across the fields and seeing a horde of Mongol fresh off the destruction of Baghdad ready to raise your town.
From journal Aleppo: Syria's Second City