Founded in the 3rd millennium BC, Damascus is one of the oldest cities in the Middle East. In the Middle Ages, it was the centre of a flourishing craft industry specialising in swords and lace. The city has some 125 monuments from different periods of its history – one of the most spectacular is the 8th century Great Mosque of the Umayyads, built on the site of an Assyrian sanctuary. In the lower right quarter of the image the narrow and winding old city of Damascus can be seen. Thanks to the high one-metre resolution and long shadows, people can even be seen in the Umayyadd Mosque. Likewise visible is the traditional style of construction with many small inner courtyards in the medina. Newer city districts north of the ancient city stand out because of their more formal, large-scale structure.
The image was taken on 2 September 2007 by the Ikonos satellite and has a resolution of one metre. It covers an area of two by four kilometres.
Credit: Space Imaging Middle East/DLR.