Site of Palmyra

Background:

  • Called the Site of Palmyra
  • Located in modern-day Syrian Arab Republic
  • Added to the World Heritage List in 1980
  • Nominated for the following reasons: “[Criterion (i):] The splendour of the ruins of Palmyra, rising out of the Syrian desert north-east of Damascus is testament to the unique aesthetic achievement of a wealthy caravan oasis intermittently under the rule of Rome from the Ier to the 3rd century AD. The grand colonnade constitutes a characteristic example of a type of structure which represents a major artistic development. [Criterion (ii):] Recognition of the splendour of the ruins of Palmyra by travellers in the 17th and 18th centuries contributed greatly to the subsequent revival of classical architectural styles and urban design in the West.  [Criterion (iv):] The grand monumental colonnaded street, open in the centre with covered side passages, and subsidiary cross streets of similar design together with the major public buildings, form an outstanding illustration of architecture and urban layout at the peak of Rome’s expansion in and engagement with the East. The great temple of Ba’al is considered one of the most important religious buildings of the 1st century AD in the East and of unique design. The carved sculptural treatment of the monumental archway through which the city is approached from the great temple is an outstanding example of Palmyrene art. The large scale funerary monuments outside the city walls in the area known as the Valley of the Tombs display distinctive decoration and construction methods.” (Taken from the UNESCO World Heritage Center Site, link below)
  • In addition to the Site of Palmyra, there are for other cultural sites located in the Syrian Arab Republic

Information:

  • The site is about 0.36 hectares
  • The site represents the 1st and 2nd centuries
  • There is no particular cultural group associated with the site, but it is a crossroad for many different cultures.  The inside of the city is built in a Persian style, while the outside there is some Roman influenced architecture

Summary:

The Site of Palmyra is the ruins of a city that stood as on oasis in the desert of Syria.  It was a very important cultural center to ancient civilizations.  It was first used as an oasis for caravans traveling across the desert.  Rome seized control of it in the middle of the first century AD.  It became a waypoint in a trade route between Rome and the Eastern world, such as Persia, China, and India.  It stood as a crossroad for civilizations of the ancient world.

Threats/Status:

There are no known threats to this site at this time

Links:

UNESCO World Heritage Center Site: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/23

http://www.syriagate.com/Syria/about/cities/Homs/palmyrasites.htm

http://heindorffhus.motivsamler.dk/worldheritage/frame-SyriaPalmyra.htm

 

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