The Palms And Peace Of Palmyra.
Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
402Trip End Dec 31, 2013
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Where I stayed
Palmyra is a huge Oasis in the desert. Palm trees and greenery are a stark contrast to the desert surrounding the town.
After breakfast the next day (5Th floor of hotel with glorious views to the ancient city) we set off to the first stop, the very unusual multi story burial towers
Next we had a tour through the city ruins ending up at the impressive temple of Bel. Palmyra has an extensive history of occupation with Assyrian, Greek, Roman, Islamic and Turkish rules and each culture added to (and took away from!) Palmyra. The city is famous for Queen Zenobia who was half Greek, half Arab and a descendant of Cleopatra. She became ruler in 267AD when Palmyra was at its height and aggressively set out to conquer new territories including Rome. She added many opulent touches to Palmyra including commissioning a massive stone pillar to be sent from Aswan in Egypt. The mind boggles as to how it got there and how long it took! The armies of Queen Zenobia were beaten back by the Roman forces and as retribution they torched Palmyra and knocked Zenobia's head off her shoulders and off all her statues in Palmyra
Of interest on our tour was a huge square for commerce where the camel traders from the Orient came to sell their wares and pay their taxes to the large custom house. It even had a speaker's corner for people to air their opinions (bitch), preach or make speeches. You could just visualize a bygone era of camel drivers selling silks and spices.
Palmyra's next big problem was a major earthquake in 1089AD. Massive pillars and huge blocks (with carvings and inscriptions) lie about all over the place, where the earthquake felled them.
Time to leave Palmyra and drive back to Damascus.
Footnote: Site of Palmyra is UNESCO World Heritage Listed.