Homs, Syria

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Homs, Syria

Region: Homs


Geographic Coordinates: 34.733300, 36.716700
Temperature Range: 10.0°C to 35.0°C (50°F to 95°F)
Population: 775404
Language: Arabic

Homs, Also known as the City of Emesa, Is a historic city located in western Syria. It is situated on the banks of the Orontes River and serves as a major transportation hub for central Syria. Homs has been inhabited since ancient times and has played an important role in Syrian history. The city’s history dates back to the third millennium BCE when it was known as Emesa. During the Roman Empire, Homs was an important trading center and served as a major link between Rome and Persia.

The city boasts many ancient ruins from this time period, Including temples dedicated to Jupiter and Venus. Homs also played a significant role in early Christianity. It was home to Saint Ananias, Who baptized Saint Paul after his conversion to Christianity on the road to Damascus. Many churches were built in Homs during this time period, Including one dedicated to Saint Mary. In more recent years, Homs has been at the center of Syria’s ongoing civil war. The city has suffered extensive damage from bombings and fighting between government forces and opposition groups since 2011.

Many residents have fled their homes due to violence or lack of basic necessities like food and water. Despite its current state of conflict, Homs remains an important cultural hub for Syria. Before the war began, It had a thriving arts scene with galleries showcasing local artists’ work alongside international exhibitions. The city is also known for its delicious cuisine which includes dishes like shawarma (spit-roasted meat), Kibbeh (a type of meatball), Falafel (deep-fried chickpea balls), Hummus (a dip made from chickpeas), Tabbouleh (a salad made with parsley, Tomatoes, Onions) among others.

One notable landmark in Homs that still stands despite all odds is Khalid ibn al-Walid Mosque which dates back over 1300 years ago – although it was heavily damaged during the war. The mosque is named after one of Islam’s most famous generals, Who fought alongside the Prophet Muhammad. Despite its current state of conflict, Homs has a rich history and culture that make it a fascinating destination for travelers interested in exploring Syria’s past and present.



Important Landmarks

  1. Khalid ibn al-Walid Mosque
  2. Citadel of Homs
  3. Al-Baath University
  4. Church of Saint Elian
  5. Al-Zahrawi Park
  6. Tadmor Hotel
  7. Al-Mazaya Square
  8. Krak des Chevaliers (located nearby)

It is important to note that due to ongoing conflict in Syria, many tourist attractions may be closed or unsafe to visit at this time and travel advisories should be checked before planning a trip to the area.


Primary Industries

  1. Before the Syrian civil war, Homs was a major industrial center in Syria.
  2. The city had several thriving industries, including:
    • Oil refining
    • Steel production
    • Textiles
    • Food processing
    • Chemicals
  3. Homs boasted one of Syria’s two oil refineries that produced gasoline, diesel fuel and other petroleum products.
  4. Additionally, the city had a large steel plant that manufactured steel bars and pipes for construction purposes.
  5. The textile industry in Homs was renowned for producing high-quality cotton fabrics and clothing.
  6. Several food processing plants were also present in the city that produced olive oil, tomato paste and other food products.
  7. Moreover, Homs had numerous chemical factories that produced fertilizers as well as other chemicals used in agriculture.
  8. However, since 2011 when the conflict erupted in Syria many of these industries have been severely impacted or destroyed altogether.

Noteable History

  1. Homs was an important center of the ancient civilization of the Arameans, who inhabited the region from the 11th to 8th centuries BCE.
  2. In 636 CE, Homs was conquered by Muslim armies and became a center of Islamic culture and learning.
  3. During the Crusades, Homs was a strategic city that changed hands several times between Christian and Muslim forces.
  4. The famous Arab traveler Ibn Battuta visited Homs in the 14th century and described it as a thriving commercial center with impressive architecture.
  5. In the early 20th century, Homs played a key role in Syria’s struggle for independence from Ottoman rule.
  6. Notable people associated with Homs include Khalid ibn al-Walid (a companion of Prophet Muhammad), Abu Musab al-Suri (a prominent jihadist ideologue), and Faris al-Khoury (a prominent Syrian politician).
  7. More recently, significant fighting has taken place in and around Homs since 2011 due to Syria’s ongoing civil war.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Khalid ibn al-Walid Mosque
  2. Homs National Museum
  3. Al-Jalaa Tower Museum
  4. The Citadel of Homs
  5. Saint Mary Church (Um al-Zennar)
  6. Al-Nouri Mosque
  7. Tadmur Castle (Palmyra)
  8. Krak des Chevaliers

Please note that due to ongoing conflicts in Syria, it is important to check current travel advisories and safety information before visiting any place in the country.



Sports Teams

  1. Football, also known as soccer, is the most widely played sport in Syria. The Syrian national football team has taken part in numerous international competitions such as the AFC Asian Cup and FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Some of the leading club football teams in Syria are Al-Jaish SC, Tishreen SC, and Al-Wathba SC.
  2. Basketball is another popular sport that is extensively played in Syria. The Syrian national basketball team has participated in various FIBA tournaments.
  3. Volleyball, handball and table tennis are also quite popular sports among Syrians.


Cultural Events

  1. Homs International Film Festival: This annual festival showcases local and international films and takes place in various venues across the city.
  2. Homs Book Fair: Held annually in April, this event brings together publishers from all over Syria to showcase their latest books.
  3. Al-Mahaba Festival: Celebrated during the month of Ramadan, this festival features traditional music and dance performances.
  4. Eid al-Fitr: The end of Ramadan is celebrated with feasting, gift-giving, and prayer.
  5. Eid al-Adha: This holiday commemorates Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son for God and is celebrated with feasting, prayer, and the sacrifice of a sheep or goat.
  6. Christmas: Christians in Homs celebrate Christmas with church services and festive meals with family.

It is important to note that due to the ongoing conflict in Syria since 2011 many cultural events have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely as a result of safety concerns for attendees as well as damage sustained by infrastructure such as roads or venues where these events would be held.


Cuisine

  • Kebab Al-Qasr is a well-known restaurant that serves traditional Syrian dishes like kebabs, shawarma, and falafel.
  • Al-Halabi Restaurant is another popular restaurant that specializes in Aleppo-style cuisine such as kibbeh, stuffed grape leaves, and grilled meats.
  • Al-Sultan Restaurant offers Lebanese-inspired dishes that include grilled meats and seafood.
  • Abu Rabeeh Sweets is famous for its traditional Syrian sweets like baklava, knafeh, and maamoul.
  • Al-Madina Sweets is another popular sweet shop that offers various types of Middle Eastern pastries and sweets.
  • Homs Market (Souq al-Homsi) is a bustling marketplace where visitors can sample local street food like roasted nuts, dried fruits, and freshly squeezed juices.
  • Naranj Restaurant serves modern Syrian cuisine using fresh ingredients sourced from local farms surrounding the city of Homs.

  • Parks and Recreation

    1. Al-Baath Park: A large park with walking paths, playgrounds for children and a lake.
    2. Al-Qusayr Amusement Park: An amusement park with rides and games.
    3. Al-Wadi Club: A sports complex with facilities for swimming, tennis, basketball and soccer.
    4. Homs National Museum: A museum showcasing the history of Homs and Syria.
    5. Khalid ibn al-Walid Mosque: A historic mosque with beautiful architecture.
    6. Citadel of Homs: An ancient fortress that offers panoramic views of the city.
    7. Souq al-Hamidiyah: A bustling market where visitors can shop for traditional crafts and souvenirs.

    It is important to note that due to ongoing conflict in Syria over the past decade or so many places may have been destroyed or closed down as a result; therefore it is best to check current conditions before visiting any place in Syria including parks or recreational activities in Homs if they are still operating at all currently.


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