Bosra (also known as Bostra, Busrana, Bozrah, Bozra, Busra ash-Sham and Nova Trajana Bostra) is an ancient city in southern Syria, administratively belonging to the Daraa District of the Daraa Governorate. According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), Bosra had a population of 19,683 in the 2004 census. It is a major archaeological site and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The settlement was first mentioned in the documents of Tutmose III and Akhenaton (14th century BC). Bosra was the first Nabatean city in the 2nd century BC. The Nabatean Kingdom was conquered by Cornelius Palma, a general of Trajan, in 106.
Under the Roman Empire, Bosra was renamed Nova Trajana Bostra, and was the residence of the legio III Cyrenaica and capital of the Roman province Arabia Petraea. The city flourished and became a major metropolis at the juncture of several trade routes, including the Roman road to the Red Sea.
Of the city which once counted 80,000 inhabitants, there remains today only a village settled among the ruins. The 2nd century Roman theater, constructed probably under Trajan, is the only monument of this type with its upper gallery in the form of a covered portico which has been integrally preserved. It was fortified between 481 and 1231.
Further, Nabatean and Roman monuments, Christian churches, mosques and Madrasahs are present within the half ruined enceinte of the city. The structure of this monument a central plan with eastern apses flanked by 2 sacristies exerted a decisive influence on the evolution of Christian architectural forms, and, to a certain extent, on Islamic style as well. Al-Omari Mosque of Bosra is one of the oldest surviving mosques in Islamic history.