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Monthly Archives: December 2007
Palmyra (Arabic: تدمر) was in ancient times an important city of central Syria, located in an oasis 215 km northeast of Damascus and 120 km southwest of the Euphrates. It has long been a vital caravan city for travellers crossing the Syrian desert and was known as the Bride of the Desert. The earliest documented reference to the city by its pre-Semitic name Tadmor, Tadmur or Tudmur,  is recorded in Babylonian tablets found in Mari . Though the ancient site fell into disuse after the 16th century, it is still known as Tadmor (in Arabic تدمر) and there is a small newer settlement next to the ruins of the same name.
More in wikipedia about Palmyra.
Qasr Alheer Alsharqi (Eastern Alheer Palace) is located in the heart of the desert in Syria at distance of 128 km from Palmyra and 100 km from Sergiopolis (Rusafa). It was built by Umayyad kalif Hisham Ibn Abdul-Malek about 740 A.D. in an area rich in desert fauna.
It is said that kalif was used to pass his leasure time here, and go for hunting and learn pure Arabic from local bedouin tribes.
The palace is composed of two structures, the bigger one has a diameter of 300m and the lesser one 100m. It is found at the slopes of Bishri Mountain, near Palmyran Middle Mountains. The palaces contain remnants of rooms, arches and columns seem to be parts of a huge complex of royal premises. Some of the decorated parts are moved to Damascus National Museum.
The bigger palace has been several floors, with a huge gate and many towers. Towers were not built as defensive measures. There were also olive yards and a oil extracting mills. The palaces were supplied by water from nearby byzantine church by a canal 5700m long. The palaces contained bathrooms, water reservoirs, mosques and gardens.