Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Palmyre The Venice of the Sands under threat

In 2009 I was lucky enough to visit Syria and join my friend John Wreford who then lived in Damascus. He took me on a tour of the country. One of the highlights was our visit to Palmyre. Now it is under threat as reported on the BBC website

Palmyra is in danger. As Islamic State fighters clash with Syrian government forces around the historic site, it is worth considering what the loss of this wonder, dubbed the “Venice of the Sands”, would mean for the world’s cultural heritage.

Palmyra is the last place anyone would expect to find a forest of stone columns and arches. Travellers in the 17th and 18th centuries were repeatedly astonished by what they saw: a vast field of ruins in the middle of the Syrian desert, roughly half-way between the Mediterranean coast and the valley of the River Euphrates.

For anyone visiting, however, the key reason for the site’s prosperity is immediately apparent: ancient Palmyra sits at the edge of an oasis of date palms and gardens.

It was as a watering place on a trade route from the east that Palmyra’s story begins, and the very name Palmyra refers to the date palms that still dominate the area….read more here

We have seen how ancient sites in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya,  and Syria have been destroyed during the wars in those countries, such unbelievable loss, of course overshadowed by the loss of lives.

Here are some images from my time at Palmyre

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

 

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

John Wreford is now based in Istanbul, here are links to his work

http://wreford.photoshelter.com/

Here is a link to the DEC SYRIA CRISIS APPEAL

You can see more of my pictures from Syria here

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: