With a history dating back to 10000 BC Damascus is the is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. It is currently the capital of Syria and its largest city (population: 1.7 million inhabitants). Damascus lies in southwestern Syria in a flat area close to the Anti-Lebanon mountains. While the area around it has been inhabited since 10000 BC, Damascus first became a significant city with the arrival of the Aramaeans. In 64 BC Damascus became part of the Roman empire. The city achieved the peak of its power and prestige when it became the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate, between 661 and 750. In the 12th century Damascus became again briefly the capital of an independent state. Damascus has an interesting old town rich in historical sights, centered around the magnificent Umayyad mosque. In its Christian quarter lie several Christian churches. The city can be comfortably explored on foot in a couple of days.
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