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Photo of the Week: Spice Market in Damascus, Syria

  • Omar Aboushaar (Photo) Ednan Ghamyan (Text)
  • 4 September 2011

This picture captures just some of the rich mix of colourful spices that can be found in many a market in Damascus, Syria. The variety of flavours on offer is overwhelming – even if you’re not trying to cook with them. The clash of bright colours is an intense experience for the eye and the incredible scents produced by the heaps of powder intermingle to create a distinctive and intoxicating miasma.

Photo of the Week (04 September 2011) - The Damscus Spice Market

This photo was taken in the Bizorriah Area, which is located next to the Ummayad Mosque – the Great Mosque of Damascus. This holy building’s distinctive dome and minarets can provide a fixed point of reference for those lost in the area around Old Damascus’ Al-Hamidiyah Souq, or shopping area. Glancing skyward and catching a glimpse of the bright, white stone allows you to orient yourself, preventing a shopping trip from turning into an escape attempt. This trick won’t work in the souq itself, however, as it is covered with a fabulous roof to provide shade from the heat of the midday sun.

Historically, Damascus was a key stop on the spice route, which brought exotic concoctions from across all of Asia. Merchants would operate out of the city, venturing to China and India on marathon journeys that could take years to complete. Their journey was fraught with peril, but also promised great riches for those who dared to take the risk.

Nowadays, spices are a lot easier to get your hands on, but still offer the tantalising thrill that drew men across continents in years gone by.

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architecture & landmarks, Asia, cities, food & drink, local knowledge, markets, personal experience, photo of the week, Syria, Western Asia, whl.travel,

One Response to “Photo of the Week: Spice Market in Damascus, Syria”

  1. Henry Williams says:

    cool pic i wasnt sure what it was until i clicked on the post

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