The capital city of modern Syria has withstood the trials of time, turned back invaders, fallen to conquers and is possibly one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the entire world. 

The earliest settlers like arrived on the site as long ago as 10,000BC. For many thousands of years it probably a small farming community, but that changed with the arrival of Aramaeans, who likely showed up around 5000BC. With them the Aramaeans brought advanced irrigation techniques, which allowed the city to grow in size and stature. By 1000 BC the city became the capital of the Aramaean’s kingdom.

The city was destroyed around 732 BC, and fell under the rule of the Babylonians until it was captured by the Persians in the 6th century BC, when it became a capital of the Persian territory of Syria.

The city was taken around 330 BC by Alexander the Great, and following his death his great empire was divided into three parts. The city of Damascus passed from control of the Seleucid and Ptolemaic empires for the next couple of hundred years, and finally was absorbed into the Empire of Roman Republic, and then became part of the Roman Empire. During the Pax Romana the city thrived and it became an important center of trade and commerce. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the city remained in the control of the Byzantine Empire until was conquered in 636 AD during the Muslim conquests of the Holy Lands. It became part of the Umayyad Empire, which included lands from Spain to India, and briefly was the site of the capital of this short-lived empire. Following the downfall of the Umayyad Syria and Damascus were ruled from Baghdad, until the city fell to the Fatimid Caliphs in Cairo in 970 AD. During this era the style and architecture of the city changed greatly, much of which can still be seen in parts of modern Damascus.

The city was taken by the Seljuk Turks in the 11th century, and it withstood a siege by Christian Crusaders in 1148 AD. This event is still celebrated today. Shortly after Saladin the Great made Damascus his capital and during and following his rule that the city once again became an important center of trade and commerce. This came to end with the arrival of the Mongol invasion, and Damascus became a provincial capital of the Mamluk Empire. The city, and all of Syria fell to the Ottoman Turks in the 16th century, and remained until 1832, when Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt briefly occupied the city. It returned to Turkish control in 1840 and this lasted until the end of World War I in 1918.

The city was the site of Arab nationalism at the end of the First World War, but Syria became a French mandate. It was occupied by pro-German Vichy French forces in 1940 and was the site of battles between Free French and Vichy French forces. Following World War II the French attempted to retain control of Damascus and Syria but pressure from Great Britain and other nations forced France to relinquish control. In 1946 Syria gained full independence with Damascus as its capital city.