The Ancient City of Aleppo is the historic city centre of Aleppo, Syria. Before the Syrian Civil War, many districts of the ancient city remained essentially unchanged since its construction during the 12th to the 16th century. Being subjected to constant invasions and political instability, the inhabitants of the city were forced to build cell-like quarters and districts that were socially and economically independent. Each district was characterized by the religious and ethnic characteristics of its inhabitants.
The Old City of Aleppo – composed of the ancient city within the walls and the old cell-like quarters outside the walls – has an approximate area of 350 hectares (860 acres; 3.5 km2), housing more than 120,000 residents.
Characterized by its large mansions, narrow alleys, covered souqs and ancient caravanserais, the Ancient City of Aleppo became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. 30%of the Ancient City of Aleppo has been destroyed in the fighting.
Photography: Ahmad Rihawi, 2009