LATAKIA, Syria: The roofed market of Lattakia, with its stone walls and archaeological arches, narrates a chapter of the ancient heritage of Latakia city.
The Syrian Arab News Agency (Sana) in an article reported that the ceilings and domes covering its narrow alleys paved with ancient stones provide an elegant scene that spices up the fragrance of the past despite the change that has occurred in most of its features.
The old market extends over a wide area of about one km from the city centre. It intersects its markets and main streets, where it is surrounded by Ugarit Square in the south, Souq Al-Sagha and Al-Annaba Street in the north and Al-Quwatli Street in the east and Hanano Street in the west.
The market is linked with the city through seven gates, where the old municipality building is located in one of its entrances.
Hanna Zureik, 73 years old, who grew up in this historical landmark, said that the market was known as the Bazaar, and it is called the “Golden Hole”, as it was a popular destination for residents of the city and the countryside.
The market, according to Zureik, contained many restaurants, hotels and places for breeding cattle and horses, along with a bus station which was later turned into a municipal square.
He said that the market includes many residential buildings dating back to more than two hundred years, as these houses are in the middle of a large area surrounded by a number of rooms in addition to a cellar and a well, adding that some of these houses have turned into commercial shops.
Knitting (such as rugs and wool), soap manufacturing, making and ironing of Tarboosh, were among the most famous industries in the market.
In 2008, a project was launched to restore some of the market’s features, but it stopped at the beginning of the crisis in Syria.
Suhail Dayoub, who supervises the implementation of the project to rehabilitate and revive the old municipality building and the adjacent square and alleys, clarified that the main goal of the project is to preserve the historical reserve and the diverse architectural heritage that characterises the city, as well as to revive handicrafts and traditional trades and create new investment opportunities in a way that contributes to the revitalisation of the tourism movement. – Bernama