Palmyra Syria, Bride Of The Desert.

by Steven Sklifas

Palmyra. Syria. The towering Tetrapylon with its Corinthian columns dominate the central section of the Great Colonnade Street. In the background is the hilltop 17th century Arab castle or citadel of Qala at ibn Maan. The Tetrapylon which marks and masks the change of direction of the great Colonnade, has four independent pylons each consisting of four columns and stands on a moulded square plinth at the four corners of a stepped platform.

An oasis in the Syrian desert, Palmyra was one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world.

From the 1st to the 2nd century AD, the art and architecture of Palmyra, standing at the crossroads of several civilisations, married Greek-Roman techniques with local traditions and Persian influences.

Palmyra prospered in ancient times as a caravan staging post, primarily due to its location on one of the main ancient routes from the Mediterranean Sea to the Euphrates and to markets further east including those on the Silk Route.

Palmyra reached its zenith in prosperity (earning it the nickname ‘bride of the desert’) around the 2nd century AD when it was under the mighty rule of Queen Zenobia –who challenged the might of Roman Empire and nearly brought it to its knees.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site,  Palmyra was one of the sites I visited and was without question one of the world’s great archaeological sites.

Unfortunately, several of the ancient monuments captured by me in the following images at Palmyra were severely damaged or destroyed during the devastating civil war.

All images, text and content are copyright Steven Sklifas.

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