Shocking photos of Aleppo's old city show before and after Syria civil war began

Years of conflict have ravaged the heritage site, leaving it crumbling and pocked by bullets

Harriet Agerholm
Thursday 22 December 2016 14:30
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Shocking images show Aleppo before and after the conflict

​Once the heart of industrial and commercial life in Syria, Aleppo drew visitors from all over the globe.

But four years of conflict have ravaged the historic Old City, smashing its ancient palaces,toppling its historic minarets and scorching its old stone walls.

As the evacuation of the rebel held areas draw to a close and government forces establish their presence, pictures have emerged of the bombed out ruins that remain.

Old city of Aleppo on 28 November 2008, above, and on 13 December 2016

Citadel

Aleppo's ancient citadel on 9 August 2010, above, and after the fighting

The walled 13th century Citadel of Aleppo is an iconic fixture of the city's landscape.

Considered one of the oldest and largest castles in the world, extensive conservation work was carried out on it during the early part of the century.

Now its walls are pockmarked with bullet holes and extensive damage has been done both inside and out.

Umayyad mosque

Aleppo's Umayyad mosque on March 12, 2009, above and after the fighting, below
The Umayyad mosque on 12 March 2009, above, and on December 13 2016, below

The Ummayad mosque, one of the largest and oldest in the world, reputedly houses the remains of John the Baptist's father.

Its ancient stone minaret was toppled during the fighting and now lies in ruins on the floor.

Entrance to the al-Zarab souk

The entrance to al-Zarab souk in the Old City on November 24, 2008 (above) and after the fighting, below

Raw silk from Iran and spices and dyes from India used to travel through the entrance to the al-Zarab souk in the old city, which was once a busy trade hub.

Now it is home to the little more than rubbish and rubble.

Hammam al-Nahasin

Massage parlour Hammam al-Nahasin, in the Old City of Aleppo on October 6 2010, above, and after the fighting, below

Hammam al-Nahasin, to the south of the mosque in Aleppo's ancient souk, is a male-only bath house dating back to the 13th century. It was once a popular tourist attraction.

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