• Registration Year


  • Registered Sector

    Ancient City of Bosra

  • Historical Function

    Stopover point on caravan route.

Location and site

Bosra is situated between the Mediterrean and Mesopotamia, in a region with a landscape that varies from harsh deserts (such as Ledja and Safa) to fertile plains (like the Hauran plain). At the crossroads of ancient routes, it was a major stopover point on the caravan route between Arabia and Syria through Nabatena (Petra having been its prestigious capital). Bosra was also on the pilgrim route to Mecca.

Urban Morphology

An entire village, with homes constructed between the 18th and 20th centuries, has been established amongst the ruins of Bosra. The monuments of volcanic stone, constructed over a period of two millennia, testify to the Hellenistic, Nabatean, Roman, Byzantine and Islamic periods in Bosra's history.

Among the most splendid are: an intact Roman theatre of the 2nd century A.D.; the Cathedral of Bosra (513 A.D.), the plan of which had an influence on Christian and, to a certain degree, Islamic architecture; the mosque of Omar (1st century of the Hegira), one of the few remaining monuments of this period in Syria; and the madrassa Jami'Mabrak an-Naqua, one of the most celebrated Islamic madrassas.

Registration Criteria

Criteria I, III and VI are cited without details.

Historical Reference

  • At the beginning of the first millennium A.D., the region around Bosra was developed for agricultural purposes.
  • At the end of the Hellenistic period, Bosra had become the northern capital of the Nabateans, a sedentary Arab tribe which controlled the caravan trade (incense, herbs, dies, precious stones) between Arabia and the Mediterranean Basin. Its property was then at its zenith.
  • In 106 A.D., when Trajan gave in to the Nabateans and Petra, the Nabatean capital, declined at the expense of Palmyre, Bosra was encompassed by the Provincia Arabia, of which it became the capital city.
  • When the Roman Empire was divided in 395, Bosra became part of the Byzantine Empire. Although political and religious difficulties endured until the 7th century, its maritime trade flourished. Bosra played the role of an important border market for the Arab caravans the trade activities of which had been developing since between the 4th and 6th century B.C.
  • It was in the city of Bosra that the prophet Mohammed received the calling that informed him of his destiny to found Islam.
  • In the 8th century, at the time of the Crusades, the Ayubides - a dynasty founded by Saladin - transformed Bosra's famous Roman theatre into a fortress to prevent the Crusaders from reaching Damascus and from gaining access to the Hauran plain.
Mr. Kassem Khalil
Municipal Council of City of Bosra
City Hall of Bosra
Bosra, Dara'a, Syrian Arab Republic
+963.15 709.148
+963.15 790.106