Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bosra - Syria

All my 4 cards from Syria are from Unesco sites. Bosra, was classified as Unesco WHS in 1908. The card was sent by Lilia "childish".

Bosra is an ancient city 67 miles (108 km) south of Damascus. Once the capital of the Roman province of Arabia, Bosra was an important stopover on the ancient caravan route to Mecca.

Bosra's most impressive feature is its superbly well-preserved Roman theater, complete with tall stage buildings. And there are also early Christian ruins and several old mosques to be found within its great walls.

Originally a Nabataean city, Bosra was conquered by the Roman emperor Trajan and made the capital of the Roman province of Arabia. It served as a key Roman fortress east of the Jordan River. The city eventually achieved the title "metropolis" under the Roman emperor Philip, who was a native of the city.

Bosra became a Christian bishopric early in the 4th century and ruins of two early churches can still be seen today. The city fell to the Muslims in 634/635; the ruins of ancient mosques can be seen from this period. As it was situated at the crossroads of trade routes, Bosra was a stop-off point for Muslim pilgrims heading to Mecca and Medina.

The Crusaders captured Bosra in the 12th century but failed to hold it. In the same century earthquakes, together with Turkish misrule, hastened its decline.

The famous Roman theater of Bosra was built in the 2nd century AD and could seat up to 15,000 people. The acoustics were carefully designed so that even those in the cheap seats could hear the actors. The stage was 45 meters wide and 8 meters deep.

In its heyday, the theater was faced with marble and draped in silk hangings, and during performances a fine mist of perfumed water was sprayed over the patrons to keep them comfortable in the desert heart. A large area in front of the stage may have been used for circuses or gladiatorial shows. - in:

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