Halab Travel Guide, Syria
Halab Travel Guide – City Location and Function
This Halab travel guide will give you an insight into the atmosphere of the northern Syrian city of Halab, which administratively functions as the capital of the Aleppo Governorate. With its nearly 5 million inhabitants, this is the largest governorate in Syria and Halab serves as the centre of the perfect trading route between the Mediterranean and the Euphrates River. Moreover, it has been at the crossroads of routes coming from India, Egipt and Damascus. This is one of the reasons why Halab is known as one of the oldest cities in the world, being inhabited since the 11th millennium BC. Still, the whole trade business has severely declined in present days, when Halab only deals with exports of local products, such as wheat, cotton, olives and sheep. The city proper has about 2.5 million inhabitants, which make up half of the population of the governorate and assure that all important coordination functions remain in Halab.
Halab Travel Guide – Getting There and Knowing the People
When railway connection was introduced in Syria, Halab was one of the first to receive it and it still functions today, with regular trains to Turkey and the country capital, Damascus. However, the most popular way of getting around on fairly acceptable distances is by air conditioned busses that travel between the main cities in Syria and Turkey, as Adana.
If travelling longer distances, the Aleppo International Airport provides regular flights to several destinations all over the world. Inside the city you will find that it has the largest and most diverse percentage of Christian population out of all the Middle East countries, except for Beirut, Lebanon. The rest 70% of the population is Sunni Muslim, Arab and Kurd. The Christian community is represented so well due to the large influx of both Catholic and Orthodox population and the St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral is one of the largest religious edifices in town. The Jewish community massively left the city in 1947 for Israel, leaving behind many deserted houses, schools and other buildings which are now falling apart and cause the local municipality much trouble because of their special rules of administration.
Halab Travel Guide – The Modernization of the Old City
Any Halab travel guide should mention the Old City that consists of a 5 kilometer street and gate network inside city walls, culminating with the central Citadel of Aleppo, an impressive medieval castle. The shopping streets and commercial courtyards maintain the legacy of older and more prosperous trading times, while the streets and buildings are part of an urban rehabilitation program for the most important part of Halab. This way the old city will be restored and integrated into a sustainable development program that can preserve all the impressive architecture and assure modern living and traffic facilities at the same time.
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