Friday Lens Affair #82


Great Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria

This week I’m featuring superb photography of Great Umayyad Mosque from Damascus in Syria. Taken by Enrique Manzano from Hardcore Viajero Blog. You can follow his crazy adventures on Facebook and Twitter as well!

I have chosen this pictures because Syria is a country I always wanted to visit but as for now I have to settle down for photos unfortunately.

Picture Story: Great Umayyad Mosque, Syria

Sometimes, the best way to enjoy the sights is simply by looking up. This piece of architectural grandeur isn’t a skyscraper nor towering Gothic Cathedral spires but one of the three minarets of the Great Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria.

It dates back to the 6th century. It served as a Christian Cathedral before its conversion to a mosque. According to the legend, this is where John The Baptist’s bones are buried.

Great Umayyad Mosque is surrounded by bustling market square, shops and tea houses. This grand building sprawls right in the heart of the Old City of Damascus. It reminded me a bit of Córdoba, considering that its history is directly related to Damascus during the Al-Andalus period.

Although I visited Syria in spring, the heat was stifling, not to mention the streets full of people. There were countless vendors offering goods, children playing street football, elderly people smoking shisha, a group of backpackers roaming the old town and a German-speaking tourist arguing with a local refusing to buy his product. The whole scene was a big mosaic of different people with different stories. As I took my escape from the crowd, I suddenly found myself on a more quiet street where I found this minaret. I stood right there in awe as the threatening thick clouds swiftly hovered above the tower, turning the blue skies grey in no time. Together with a massive flock of birds flying wildly in different directions it looked so mysterious!

Observing the scenario was like being caught in an apocalyptic moment but I somehow felt rather entertained as I watched the entire scene happening before me. I stayed standing below the towering minaret until the birds were gone and it started to drizzle.

I considered myself lucky to be able to visit Syria in 2010, exactly a year before the civil war started out. Despite the bad situation going on in the country, I would rather remember it as a place where I found my freedom and peace.


16 thoughts on “Friday Lens Affair #82

  1. Such a same to see such a beautiful country distraught by war. Would love to be able to visit someday to take photos.
    Beth recently posted…Disneyland Paris is Not Very French!My Profile

  2. SJ

    Super fabulous photo. I am not sure I’d ever get to this part of the globe – so you go and report back.
    SJ recently posted…Croatian Music: Emerging Croatian artists you’ll wanna rock out with {in English}My Profile

  3. Too bad Syria is no more, sadly :(

    I would have loved to go there after Turkey!
    Raphael Alexander Zoren recently posted…Travel Photography Tips for Beginners Part 1My Profile

  4. Wow sounds like a wonderful place. I wonder what it’s like now? I bet it be a wonderful place to find inspiration for writing! :-)
    Ron recently posted…Top 3 Sites of the Canadian BadlandsMy Profile

    • Mosques, churches and synagogues are always great place to find inspiration for writing, I think it is the calmness of the places and possibility to totally switch off your mind…
      Marysia recently posted…Costa Rica – 10Things You didn’t KnowMy Profile

  5. Meg

    Wow gorgeous photo – so great that you’re highlighting countries which are seeing really bad press lately. Obviously it’s a little difficult to travel here with all the safety concerns etc, but these countries really do have something special to offer to travellers. I had a friend who travel through Syria a few years back, and while she left early because of safety, she had the most phenomenal photographs.
    Meg recently posted…An Interview With a Handsome MexicanMy Profile

  6. Amazing picture. I wonder if that mosque is still there…

  7. I really hope that Syria is able to overcome all of the awful wars and atrocities going on there right now, I feel so badly for its citizens…This is a lovely photo and I’m sure that many people (including myself) would love to visit there!
    Lauren recently posted…Swimming With Dolphins: The Dark TruthMy Profile

    • Oh Lauren it is such a shame we didn’t get to visit before all this mess, I have heard that Damascus was one of the most beautiful cities in the world! I’m afraid that this is long gone!
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #84My Profile

  8. Enrique

    Thanks for featuring my photo! Happy travels!
    Enrique recently posted…Walking through Barcelona: Montjuïc & Poble EspanyolMy Profile

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