Hama is situated 47 Km north of
Homs and 140 km south of Aleppo.
This beautiful city use the Orontes River as its cooling system and the
Orontes valley for greenery.
Hama has many distinctive features, the two most prominent features is its
citadel and its ancient Norias (waterwheels). The Norias have
been scooping water from the Orontes (Aassi) River and pouring it into
irrigation canals. The groaning sound of the Norias adds a certain mystique
to this ancient city. The sounds are quite relaxing and soothing to
the mind. Hama is a very clean and conservative town where modern buildings
meet the ancient past.
Hama or Hamah has city has a long history, having been settled as far
back as the Bronze Age and Iron Age, Excavations on and near the citadel
hill, which is now replaced by a park, reveal remains belonging as far back
as the Neolithic period.
In the 2d millennium B.C., it was a center of the Hittites. As Hamath
it is often mentioned in the Bible, where it is said to be the northern
boundary of the Israelite tribes; It was also the capital of the Aramean
kingdom. The Assyrians under Shalmaneser III captured the city in 720
BC. Later included in the Persian Empire, it was conquered by
Alexander the Great and, after his death (323 B.C.), in 200 BC it was
claimed by the Seleucid kings, who renamed it Epiphania, after
Antiochus IV (Antiochus Epiphanes). The city later came under the control of
Rome and of the Byzantine Empire. In A.D. 638 it was captured
by the Arabs. Christian Crusaders held Hama briefly (1108),
but in 1188 it was taken by Saladin, in whose family it remained
until it passed to Egyptian Mamluk control in 1299. An early Mamluk
governor of Hama was Abd al-Fida (reigned 1310–30), the historian and
geographer. In the early 16th cent. the city came under the Ottoman
Empire. Hama flourished under the Ayyubids, and the
Ottomans left their emblem in the form of a couple of Khans and a beautiful
Azem Palace. After World War I it was made part of the French
Levant States League of Nations mandate, and in 1947 it became part of
Attractions and historical building
Points of interest in Hama include:
- The famous old waterwheels, some as much as 90 ft (27 m) in
diameter, bring water up from the Orontes for irrigation
- Al Azem Palace which served as the Governor's residence during the
- The remains of the Roman aqueduct (still in use),
- The Great Mosque of jami An-Nuri which was built for the uncle of
Saladin, Nur al-Din. (until 638 a Christian basilica)
- In the Al-Madina quarter of the city, you will find the Citadel surrounded
by parks and river-side gardens. The Great Mosque is also located
here. Close by is the Orthodox Church.
- Hama has Muhrajan al-Rabi (Spring Festival) in April where the
local customs and traditions are displayed throughout the city. This
annual event is always a good time to visit Hama and its sourrounding areas.
The Roman ruins of Aphamea (Afimia) is 60 km northwest of Hama.
Apamea was founded around 300 BC by Seleucus, ruler of northern Syria and
Mesopotamia following the death of Alexander the Great and named after his
Persian wife. This trading town connected
Latakia and Palmyra. Besides the Roman ruins Qalaat
Mudiq is also an impressive site. Later in its history Aphamea became
and important stopping point for pilgrims from from Istanbul to Mecca.
Other sites of interest near Hama are Qalaat Burzey, Misyaf,
Al-Baida, Deir Solieb, Qalaat Shmaimis, Qasr ibn
Warden and Anderin, S'kalbiey and Mhardeh.
Hama is the capital of Hama governorate, W central Syria, on the
Orontes River. It is the market center for an irrigated farm region where
cotton, wheat, barley, millet, and corn are grown. Manufactures include
cotton and woolen textiles, silk, carpets, and dairy products. Famous old
waterwheels, some as much as 90 ft (27 m) in diameter, bring water up from
the Orontes for irrigation. Hama is a road and rail center, and an airport
Hama has Muhrajan al-Rabi (Spring Festival) in April where the local customs
and traditions are displayed throughout the city. This annual event is
always a good time to visit Hama and its sourrounding areas.