Syria in the Eighties: Aleppo: Umayyad Mosque & Souqs

Dr. Stefano Bianca’s first visits to Aleppo happened in the context of the Bab al-Faraj Project. Under the auspices of UNESCO, he assessed the proposed redevelopment project and prepared successively two planning reports submitted in 1981 and 1983, as well as he took part in the subsequent urban design infill project developed on behalf of the Municipality in 1984/85. 


The Umayyad Mosque or Great Mosque of Aleppo was first constructed in the heart of the old city of Aleppo during the reign of Umayyad caliph al-Walid I ibn 'Abd al-Malik (r. 705-715/86-96 AH) or his successor, Sulayman (r. 715-717/96-99 AH). The building reflects the antiquity and layered history of Aleppo itself: the mosque of today does not retain its original form, having witnessed a number of renovations and reconstructions in its over one thousand years of continuous use.


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