AleppoAleppo, or Halab in Arabic, is the largest city in Syria; throughout history it was one of the largest and most prosperous cities of the Levant due to its strategic location at the end of the Silk Road.
Excavations show it has been settled since at least 5000 BCE; during the Bronze Age it was the capital of several kingdoms. After Alexander the Great's takeover, it was a Hellenistic metropolis which later became part of the wealthy Roman province of Syria..
After the decline of the empire, Aleppo repeatedly changed hands, yet it never lost its importance as one of the greatest commercial centres of the Eastern Mediterranean - until the sea route from Europe to Asia was discovered in the 16th century. Finally, the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 dealt the deathblow to overland trade.
The Aleppo RoomIn 1600, Isa ben Butrus, a Christian merchant, had his reception room painted with an abundance of scenes. Reminiscent of Ottoman book illuminations, they portray themes that are at once part of the canon of images of Christianty, Judaism and Islam.
▶ The Museum of Islamic Art, Berlin▶ Aleppo