Arabic: ساحة الحطب
In 1400, the Mongol-Turkic leader Tamerlane captured the city of Aleppo from the Mamluks. He massacred many of the inhabitants, ordering the building of a tower of 20,000 skulls outside the city. After the withdrawal of the Mongols, all the Muslim population returned to Aleppo. On the other hand, Christians who left the city during the Mongol invasion, were unable to resettle back in their own quarter in the old town, a fact that led them to establish a new neighborhood in 1420, built at the northern suburbs of Aleppo outside the city walls, to become known as al-Jdeydeh quarter (for "new district" in Arabic).
Al-Hatab Square became the centre of the newly established quarter surrounded with many churches, hammams, khans, caravanserais and caeserias. The square was quickly turned into one of the busiest commercial hubs of the city.
Nowadays, it is home to many boutique hotels housed in historic buildings such as the Zamaria House, and traditional museums such as the Beit Ghazaleh and Beit Achiqbash. The square is also home to many shops of antiques and handmade jewelries. The famous ful parlor Abu Abdo is located near the square.
Sources and Further Reading
- Bruce Masters (1990). The 1850 Events In Aleppo: An Aftershock Of Syria's Incorporation Into The Capitalist World System. International Journal of Middle East Studies, 22, pp 3-20.
- WOODBROOKE-MINGANA SYMPOSIUM ON ARAB CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM, & THOMAS, D. (2001). Syrian Christians under Islam: the first thousand years. Leiden, Brill. 241pp.
- Runciman, p. 463.
- Battle of Aleppo@Everything2.com.
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