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Aleppo Citadel before the war

Aleppo Citadel before the war
Photo Information
Copyright: Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9717 W: 512 N: 18842] (83366)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 1995-09-13
Categories: Castles, Daily Life, Architecture
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2019-10-17 0:32
Viewed: 559
Points: 72
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Two men and a donkey are on their way into the medieval Citadel of Aleppo. Before the Syrian war this was one of the grandest and most impressive palaces in the Middle East. During the war it has been significantly damaged, but not completely destroyed. According to Wikipedia it was reopened to the public in 2017 with repairs to damaged parts underway.

Aleppo Citadel was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986 and had undergone extensive conservation work in the 2000's, before the war started.

Although this hill has been inhabited for more than 5.000 years, the present complex is dated to the late 12th, early 13th centuries A.D.

In my diary I described how seeing the Citadel complex involved a lot of climbing on steep walls with dangerously loose stones. Here and there I found myself in places high above the precipice with no protective railing or fence. In a beautifully decorated room I made the upsetting discovery that large wooden panels had been vandalized by carved graffiti.

Here is a larger version.

One WS shows a wider view of the entrance to the Citadel as seen from the street below, another WS was taken from the top of a palace wall looking across a part of central Aleppo.

All photos were scanned from Kodachrome slides.

pajaran, jean113, PaulVDV, Fis2, ikeharel, pierrefonds, ChrisJ, jhm, worldcitizen, johnjmoe, mcmtanyel, gervaso, COSTANTINO, dale54, alvaraalto, macjake, mehrdad-t, adramad has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To PaulVDV: publicholmertz 3 2019-10-17 11:32
To kasianowak: Thank you Kasiaholmertz 1 2019-11-01 08:32
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Critiques [Translate]

Lep pogled, interesantan i dobar tekst ...
Lepe stepenice i stara fasada.
Lep stari ulaz u grad.
Lepo pokazano sa fotografijom u radionici, dobro uhvacen trenutak. Dobar rad skeniranjem slajda.
Zelim vam lep i uspesan dan, sve najbolje.

Nice view, interesting and good text ...
Nice stairs and old facade.
Nice old entrance to town.
Nicely shown with a photo in the workshop, well captured moment. Good job scanning the slide.
I wish you a nice and successful day, all the best.

Hello Gert,
These pictures show how I remember the citadel.
But without a donkey :)
I visited Aleppo in the time before digital photography. So I don't have many photos to look at.
The Citadel is one of the most impressive monuments of the Middle East.
Good to hear that it wasn't completely destroyed because somewhere I read that. Reopened to the public in 2017? Is there then a public? Erdogan's invading army?
Three very good and interesting pictures!
Best regards, Paul

Hello dear Gert,
My neighbour today.
Again a perfect capture from your archive and from Aleppo.
Almost around thesame time I also was been there.
It's really a pity what this wonderfull old city is suffering this days.
TFS and best regards

  • Great 
  • Fis2 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11603 W: 163 N: 19507] (142723)
  • [2019-10-17 0:57]

Witaj Gert my neighbour today!
Curious place, nice scene from daily life.
The wall makes impression.
I like stairs and WS too.
Good framing, colors and composition.
Have a good day.

Hello Gert, three fascinating pictures.
The w/s picture with the man in the foreground could easily have been a main post.
I like this one because of the composition and point of view, looking straight up towards the Citadel.
The two men and the donkey are perfectly placed.
The building is so impressive.
Great to have this record of how it once was.
Kind regards,

  • Great 
  • dta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6302 W: 274 N: 12542] (95548)
  • [2019-10-17 1:18]

Hello Gert ,
It is a pitty to allways heard about Syria about war , and since a long time .Its architectural richness is fantastic , as we can see here .
Splendid upwards view to the citadel with the men climbing the stairs.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13512 W: 125 N: 24156] (121047)
  • [2019-10-17 1:28]

hI Gert,another interesting report from Syria before the war and ncie memories for me too,i don't know what remains now there,but the view are the same of what i seen me too,good quality,the perspective of the main pic is lovely. Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano

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  • Nicou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 15529 W: 0 N: 16878] (188510)
  • [2019-10-17 2:09]

Image de circonstance avec la guerre qui fait encore rage en Syrie quelle vue et ces deux personne et cet âne qui entre dans la citadelle fantastique les escaliers et quelles décorations à la surface le noir de l'entrée le contraste de tons entre la façade et les escaliers quelle vue fantastique
Bravo et amitié

Hi Gert,

The presence of the persons and of the donkey is animating the scene. The point of view is showing the details od this section of the Aleppo Citadel. The light is enhancing the colors. Have a nice day.


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  • ChrisJ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 15673 W: 1055 N: 32789] (152452)
  • [2019-10-17 5:10]

Hello Gert,

In 1995 I was on Ko Samet in Thailand, but wish now that I could have seen Syria before it tore itself apart in the current civil war that has been dragging on for over 5 years now and causing immeasurable damage. My only memories of Syria are hearing Russian bombs from the adjacent north west corner of Jordan, that were targeting Islamic State positions at night. And from the ancient city of Gadara seeing a semi desert wilderness in the daytime that was stretching away to the horizon. A good upward pov here with excellent inclusion of the 2 men and a donkey. Tfs!

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  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 26241 W: 523 N: 44924] (191415)
  • [2019-10-17 5:56]


I've as child also the ruin seen of WW II, on the farm of my parents.
Politic and religion, make the world broken.
Incredible anno 2019 what in the world happens.
Three wonderful picture about the lovely old city if Aleppo.
Wonderful depth and perspective
Composition and colours make your picture lovely.
Very well done, TFS.

Have a nice day,

Bonjour Gert,

Alep était une très belle ville avant la guerre civile en Syrie. Elle mettra bien du temps à s'en remettre, si cela arrive un jour. Superbe composition.



Ciao Gert, great view of fantastic building, wonderful colors, fine details, excellent perspective, good clarity and splendid light, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • rychem Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 4209 W: 0 N: 9976] (68021)
  • [2019-10-17 6:41]

Impressive citadel, a very nice photo of the entrance, I like the photo in WS too, it also could be a main photo, a very good capture from a high POV
regards Ryszard

A picture from a whole different era and situation, Gert, I do not believe you would see this historic citadel as shown here, the city is completely destroyed in the war already.
An excellent document on TE, superbly scanned.
Good afternoon,

Hello Gert,
This view of the citadel is really attractive. We are walking up the stairs with you towards the entrance. The details and the old stones are beautiful. I do wonder what the donkey will be doing up there; I guess he wanted to enjoy the view, too. :-) I think the WS photo in the cafe was good enough to be a main post. I like the old car that's in the frame also.

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  • Tue Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11127 W: 57 N: 19211] (71944)
  • [2019-10-17 8:31]

Hej Gert,
Det er meget trist at tænke at dette smukke sted også blev udsat for krigen og fik så alvorlige skader. De høje vægge ser meget imponerende ud og har masser af fine detaljer som ser meget godt ud i lyset her.

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  • jmdias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11415 W: 174 N: 20888] (92011)
  • [2019-10-17 9:58]


this city should be amazing before the war. I liked the three images and its details. curiously last sunday I was watching an actor who was born in this town and was transformed in a very loved guy here in brazil . some years ago he escaped to ukraine and after to the capital of my state, he participated of a big brother program on TV and was transformed in an actor of soap operas. he was happy because brazilian government gave him brazilian nationality.
when brazilians stay sad about our crisis he laugh because he lived the hell on earth.
take care


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  • BennyV Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2809 W: 35 N: 5709] (30442)
  • [2019-10-17 12:10]

Hello Gert

Aleppo has always fascinated me. A city of history, a mythical name on the map...the kind of place I'd love to visit. Then the war happened. Now I hope I live long enough & the city will one day recover. When given a choice, the second part is the more important, obviously.

Great shot, thanks.


Gert, a value archive presenting that citadel, a Unesco site, before the Syrian war. Two persons and a donkey are climbing the stairs leading to a big gate. It s a good news to hear the stonework was not so affected by the fights. Fine colors, good image quality and excellent light, instructive photo note, regards.

Hello Gert,
Three lovely photos from pre-war Aleppo. I am sad to read that this beautiful citadel was damaged, I hope it can be restored to its former beauty. 👍🏻👍🏻

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  • emka Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11641 W: 123 N: 29576] (139254)
  • [2019-10-17 20:28]

hello Gert,

Three beautiful photos and why the Workshop pictures aren't other main uploads? They deserve it. The view from the top is fantastic. This is very nice too. Interesting that the stone walls are so colourful/ I like the frieze in Arabic. The biggest destructions were in the Umajjad great mosque. Barbarity.
Unfortunately, I haven't been to Aleppo, But I am happy that I saw Palmyra and Bosra before the war and its destructions. I liked Syria very much, the people were so friendly and nice. I am very sad when I think about
Have a nice day


Hi Gert,
Interesting photo well taken about this country, nice architecture, perfect light and good human presence on your shot, tfs.

Dear Gert,

Its a well-cropped frame, with everything, including the men with the donkey, leads my eyes towards the dark, thus mysterious gate. The other photos are nice too, but for me it was obvious why you chose this one.

Best Wishes,

Hello, Gert!

A famous city that must have been wonderful before this absurd war that has destroyed so many world heritage sites there... The details are really impressive, and the POV chosen is great to make it even more imposing! And there is your mark on the photo, with some people going up the stairs, giving more life and interest to the scene! Wonderful job!

Hello dear Gert and have a nice time
again a perfect capture with delicate details
two men and a donkey are on their way
into the medival Citadel of Aleppo
I like these stairs
and wellseen

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  • dale54 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1010 W: 0 N: 2182] (16052)
  • [2019-10-18 10:03]

well gert good evening to you...this shot of yours is so precious,lets hope she is still standing!very interesting to look at...tfs dale

Hi dear Gert

Another so precious image taken 25 years ago from you!
I remind only 25 years ago Syria was so peaceful and fantastic place--. I know Aleppo is so fircely damaged city, I have heartache when I think this fort was collapsed---.

All the best and have a good day! Takero

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  • PiotrF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 4871 W: 2 N: 8908] (42736)
  • [2019-10-18 14:06]

Hello Gert
A cery nice composition from this place with two men in foreground.
Informative note.
Fine presentation

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  • drt100 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 341 W: 74 N: 803] (3744)
  • [2019-10-18 16:23]

Your perspective on this gateway is awesome. The long steps leading to a huge gate. The man urging the donkey, the beautiful contrast in brick and rock colors - all wonderful. The whole picture is impressive. Great

Have a great weekend David

Hello Gert,
These excellent photos from 1995 fit in well with the current developments in Syria in which we see daily how many deaths and devastation are being caused in this part of the world. Uncompromisingly everything will be destroyed and if that suits us better we will restore our heritage to show that we are not barbarians.
Have a good weekend, groet Rob

Hi Gert
I don't know where to even begin. First...i LOVE the WS photo you took across the street, and I personally don't think the fg is too dark - if anything it gives a sweet contrast, light and shadow in the same view, and we can really see the Citadel clearly too, along with the taxi cab. what an absolute shame that this country and its architecture are destroyed...it looks SO photogenic and as you said, so impressive. Its funny across the street it looks "normal", but here it looks massively huge, like entering the mother ship. and the fact the opening arch is so black it makes it even more mysterious! love it

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  • clic Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2780 W: 0 N: 3427] (22826)
  • [2019-10-20 8:14]

Hallo Gert Once again you contributed to my knowledge of the Middle East history by this stunning picture of the bridge resting atop eight arches, leading to the sole entrance of the mighty Citadel built for military purposes and also containing political-intended facilities. Many thanks for this mighty piece of World Heritage appearing triumphant on its seven hectare mound in mid-town. Halsningar

Very nice place,
I like it.

Hi Gert.
Wonderful these three photos of Aleppo, which make me sad and bring me good memories of when I visited in 2002, this detail of the great gate of the Citadel and facade is great, as well as the more general view of it in the WS.
Good management of brightness and sharpness, which enhance the details.
Very well done. I love.
Have a great day.
Very best regards.

...yes, BEFORE the war. There is a sad irony in your diary comment regarding the vandalised wooden panels, I wonder where these panels are now, the whole city having been bombed and destroyed. The view in WS would also look entirely different taken during the last couple of years.
Even with a lot of contrast, I like the WS with the man in the foreground. But of course a man and a donkey would be my preference for the main upload in any case. :-)
Have a nice weekend

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