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ABOUT SYRIA - HAMA
Damascus Bosra Lattakia Palmyra Deir Ezzor Krak des Chevaliers Hama Aleppo

Hama (Hamath), situated between Horns and Aleppo on the banks of the Orontes river, is an important agricultural and industrial center. Except for Damascus, Hama is considered the most picturesque city in Syria and one may wish to take time to relax in the attractive gardens along the river banks.

The chief attraction ofHama are the great norias (water-wheels). Originating in Byzantine times, the oldest surviving wheels date from the 13th century. The norias, which all have given names, were used to raise water from the river into aqueducts. As this function is now carried out by electric pumps, the purpose of the wheels today is purely decorative and of historical interest.

Hama's Museum, housed in Beit aI-Azem (the Azem Mansion) is a splendid example of 18th century Ottoman architecture. There are lovely courtyards with central fountains, mosaics, richly decorated wood ceilings and paneled walls, marble floors and wax models of various aspects of Syrian life in bygone days illustrating the sumptuousness of a Pasha's life.
There are numerous mosques and Greek Orthodox churches worth a visit, as well as the aqueducts and, of course, the Citadel (qala'at Hama) once the site of an 11 th century BC royal palace and later a Muslim fortress.


     
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