Hama Travel Guide, Syria
Hama or Hamah (meaning citadel), the capital city of Hama governorate, W-central Syria, is indeed a good choice of destination in your coming holidays. Although, there are not plenty of activities and things to do in Hama, you will like spending a couple of days among its serene and picturesque surroundings. Be it historical sites, rich cultural heritage or natural beauty, Hama has all the ingredients to make it a perfect holiday destination. This old town with trees dotted along the road and gardens everywhere is a perfect place to spend some time in solitude and peace.
Area: 60 sq km
Population: 1.7 million
Currency: Syrian pound
The city of Hama has some of the finest examples of ancient architecture and you can go touring the palaces, fortresses, khans, mosques and even a few churches dotting the area. Many of the palaces have been turned into museums, where several relics of the antiquities are on display. You can also visit the excavated sights.
Hama’s claim to fame, of course, are its centuries-old waterwheels (which are known as Norias in Arabic) lining the Orontes River. Designed and built first during the Byzantine rule, the Norias had irrigational use - these would raise water from the river and fill aqueducts leading to the fields. At present, there are about 17 Norias in Hama and though they do not have any functional worth left, they add to the charm of Hama.
Hama has almost always enjoyed prime importance as an agricultural and industrial hub. Even today, varied agricultural produces like corn, wheat, barley, cotton, etc. are grown in the region.
Hama happens to be an important center of Syria’s steel and iron industries. Hama textiles - be it cotton, silk or woolen are hugely in demand; the same said of the Hama carpets. Various dairy products too are produced in Hama.
The town has fairly good infrastructure - it is well connected by both road and rail networks. Transportation is quite cheap because of low gasoline price.
The city even has an airport nearby.
People and Culture
The inhabitants of Hama are a little conservative, but hospitality is never missing. Language proves a problem at times, but youth are more forthcoming and friendly. The people of this upcoming town are matching steps with modernization but are very much rooted in their culture. They value customs and tradition. If you want to feel their spirits, the ideal time to be in Hama will be in April when they celebrate Muhrajan al-Rabi (which is their version of the Spring Festival).
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