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Roman ruins north of the citadel.
Nabatean Arch

Bosra ( , also Bostra, Busrana, Bozrah, Bozra, Busra Eski ┼×am, Busra ash-Sham, Nova Trajana Bostra) is an ancient city administratively belonging to the Daraa Governoratemarker in southern Syriamarker. It is a major archaeological site and has been declared a UNESCOmarker 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.
A view of the citadel (the theater is located inside).
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 Seamarker. The two Councils of Arabia were held at Bostra in 246 and 247 AD. The city was conquered by the Sassanid Persians in the early 7th century, and, after a short Byzantine reconquest, was finally captured by the forces of the Rashidun Caliphate under Khalid ibn Walid in the Battle of Bosra (634). Thereafter it was an Islamic possession.

Bosra played an important part in the early life of the Prophet of Islam, Mohammed as described in the entry for the Christian Monk, Bahira.

Today, Bosra is a major archaeological site, containing ruins from Roman, Byzantine, and Muslim times, its main feature being the well preserved Roman theatre. Every year there is a national music festival hosted in the theater.

Main sights

Of the city which once counted 80,000 inhabitants, there remains today only a village settled among the ruins. The second 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 AD.

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.

Close by are the Kharaba Bridge and the Gemarrin Bridgemarker, both Roman bridges.

Notable people from Bosra


  1. Al-Omari Mosque Archnet Digital Library.

External links

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