Deir Ezzor is one of those cities whose foundations go back to the third millennium BC, the days of King Sargon I, till it fell in the hands of King Hammurabi (reigned 1728-1686 BC) , followed by the Assyrians, the Chaldeans and the Persians. It is located some
450 km northeast of Damascus on the banks of the . Euphrates River
When Alexander the Great campaigned marched through
, Deir Ezzor became part of his empire. After his death in 323 BC, the country was ruled by Seleucos, one of his former generals. In Roman times this green oasis was a crossroad on the trade route that connected the Mediterranean Sea with Syria . We may not forget to mention Queen Zenobia who in the third century fervently opposed the Roman presence and occupied the city. India
By the fourth century, Deir Ezzor fell under the rule of
and afterwards became part of the Ayubbid and the Mamluk empires. Tamerlane (read more under the Label Central Asia) and his Mongols totally destroyed Deir Ezzor in 1401, after which the city sank into the desert and disappeared. Aleppo
In is only in recent years, when oil was discovered in the region that Deir Ezzor was revived, and this is what we are seeing today.
The confrontation with the
is always an exciting experience. The river was used as a frontier line for eons and still is – in fact, the other side (east) is where Euphrates River Mesopotamia starts. The French, who arrived here end of the 19th century built a narrow suspension bridge, a mini San Francisco Bay-bridge, executed by nobody less than engineer Eifel! Recently, a wider modern bridge has been built for the motorized traffic. It is an unforgettable adventure to cross this old bridge on foot as it is now reserved to pedestrians and to feel the soft swinging movement caused by our steps. The strong current of the Euphrates is clearly visible from up here and setting foot on Mesopotamian soil for just a short moment it definitely worth the detour.
This is the story in a nutshell. Unfortunately, no traces have been found of Alexander’s presence here – not yet at least.