Thursday, May 21, 2015


They say ISIS has entered the ancient town of Palmyra (Tadmor) in Syria. The Roman ruins there are extensive and dramatic - a well-preserved town and temple down below, a brooding citadel above, and a chain of crumbling watchtowers [edited - they're tombs] stretching into the desert. It's in the middle of nowhere now, but it was once a hub of trade and battle. If you've heard of the warrior queen Zenobia from the third century, Palmyra was her kingdom.

Here are some photos of Palmyra from happier days when we were there in 2004 and 2005.

Our sweet ride from Damascus to Palmyra - a "Happy Jerney" bus. It's about a five-hour drive through some seriously empty desert.

Empty, except for the Bagdad Cafe. There are some pit toilets out back and Ugarit Cola and Jexy for sale in a small indoor space.

The view from the citadel, looking down at the ruins of the city. I told you they were extensive! The cardo maximus at Palmyra is glorious to behold.


Sunset at the citadel.

From the ruins, looking up at the citadel.

The cardo maximus.

Amphitheater. (Photo credit my dad.)

Ruins/citadel by day. (Photo credit my dad.)

Bedu woman in Palmyra (photo credit my dad).

I love the activity of this photo - these guys peddled horse and camel rides to tourists, and I think in this photo they were just messing around racing each other. (Photo credit my dad.)

I hope the people and treasures in Palmyra are keeping safe tonight.


Kathy Haynie said...

If it's out in the middle of nowhere, why does ISIS care? Ugh.

Najla said...

I really hope they won't destroy this magic place, it brings me back wonderful memories...

Just a comment, the watchtowers pic... aren't they the tower tombs?

Bridget said...

Of course you are right, Najla! I had forgotten.

Kathy, it's in the middle of nowhere, but it's a strategic nowhere - a stopover on the way from Damascus to Deir ez-Zour. So sad.

Liz Johnson said...

Ugh, this just makes me so mad. I think I underestimated ISIS when they first showed up, and now I'm terrified as to what it will take to stop them. :(

Aimee said...

It makes me very sad that they are going to destroy these ancient things, because they were built by a civilization with a different belief system.


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