Latakia - Syria

Latakia is a port in north-west Syria on the Mediterranean Sea. It is Syria's most important port, exporting cotton, fruit, and tobacco. Probably founded in the 3rd century BC, Latakia was ruled by the Phoenicians and Romans and subsequently was occupied at various times by the Byzantines, Crusaders, Arabs, and Turks. Between World War I and World War II, the city was administered by the French but became part of Syria in 1942. From here visit Apamea or Aleppo (ancient Beroea) which lies on a plateau 427 m (1400 ft) high, midway between the Mediterranean Sea and the Euphrates River. The second-largest city in Syria, Aleppo consists of an old and a new town; the former is enclosed by a medieval wall. Among the most important buildings are the modern citadel, surrounded by a moat and standing on a hill 61 m (200 ft) high, and the Mosque of Zacharias, said to contain the tomb of John the Baptist's father. The Egyptians, Babylonians, Hittites, Chaldeans and Persians have successively ruled ancient Syria. It became part of Alexander the Great's empire in 333BC, when one Alexander's generals founded the city of Antioch as its capital. Struggles between the Seleucids and the Ptolemies of Egypt followed, until 64 BC, when Syria became a province of the Roman Empire. Following the decline and collapse of the Romans and the division of the empire in the 4th century AD, Syria became a Byzantine province and remained so for almost two and a half centuries. Greater Syria, a land area incorporating Lebanon, Israel, Jordan and present-day Syria, was the site of much conflict and conquest throughout the days of the Ancient World. This conflict has continued throughout the Middle Ages and into modern times.