Though relatively close to Damascus, Aleppo is fairly conservative where men should wear shirts and trousers, while women should avoid dresses that are revealing. This second largest city of Syria continuously inhabited since the 6th millennium BC, is historically significant as it was located at the end of the Silk Route which travels through Central Asia and Mesopotamia. However, since the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, trade eventually got diverted to sea-routes and Aleppo slowly began to lose importance.
Featuring a rich medieval architecture and traditional heritage, riding on a wave of successful restoration of its historic landmarks, Aleppo is experiencing a revival and returning to spotlight as a popular tourist destination. The cityscape, characterized by large mansions, narrow alleys and covered markets alongside the modern city skyline, the historic structures of the Aleppo Old Town are surrounded by a 5 kilometer long thick wall periodically pierced by nine historical gates.