08 October 2008

Photos of Palmyra and the Temple of Bel - Syria

Palmyra. Pick up any tourist brochure about Syria and undoubtedly you will see a picture of this ancient city somewhere on it, if not on the cover.

This is the place that people usually come to see. It is impressive to say the least and the grounds cover such a vast area. Several places (such as museums, the Temple of Bel, the tombs) charge entry fees but you can visit and wander the grounds for free. Unfortunately i only had time to visit the Temple of Bel and wander the grounds.

Let me make a few suggestions. If you want to visit this place I highly recommend doing it over 2 days and staying at the Zenobia Hotel if you can afford it because it is right at the site. I didn't spend the night but i ate lunch there and it was great being able to just sit there and take in the view of Palmyra. Also after all the day tourists (like me) have gone, you have the place to yourself. I was there till sunset and it really is something spectacular. If you want to travel around Syria, do it towards the end of summer (so around this time or even later is best) because it is still hot but not so much that its unbearable and there is no shelter at many of the historical sites. Take a hat, sunblock and plenty of water!

OK on to the photos.

First up Palmyra's Monumental Arc taken as i was walking towards the Temple of Bel. The next is taken from the steps of the Temple of Bel looking out at the Monumental Arc and the Porticoed Way which leads down past the Tetrapylon (third photo) to the Funerary Temple and other sites.

The Temple of Bel. The photo is taken from within the grounds as the Temple is walled all the way around. The next one is of the "Entrance" to the site which houses the ticket office.

On the left is the actual main entrance into the Temple. The right is a random photo taken from the grounds looking out to the ruined Castle that is part of Palmyra.

Below is the passage which is believed to have been used to bring in sacrificial animals into the temple. And an artsy shot of the columns of the passage from the temples windows.

Lastly Palmyra at sunset, I don't think the photos do it justice though.

Hope you enjoyed this little photo tour. I really had a great time at Palmyra and would love to go there again and see more of it, maybe even spend the night. Its such a breath taking place. To stand there among the amazing ruins and to try to imagine what that city would have been like, the people who lived there and how their lives were cant help but leave an impression.

Wishing you all happy travels and explorations.


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