Original Caption: Les ruines de Palmyre. The ruins of Palmyra. Syria. Engravings from the first comparative history of world architecture.
Although it’s been worn down throughout time, Palmyra used to be a prominent oasis on the Silk Road. The first records of Palmyra date back to 2,000 BCE when it was conquered by Rome in the 1st century CE. Linking Rome and Persia to China and India, the city flourished and was a place of monumental architecture. The city’s spectacular architecture is as unique now as it was in the ancient world with its mix of cultural influences: Greco-Roman, Persian, and local aesthetical influences can all be found in the architectural style of the city. The survival of the temples, an Agora, a theatre, Roman aqueduct, and other buildings at Palmyra into the 17th and 18th centuries are cited by UNESCO as being a major contributor to the Greek Revival architectural movement. This image shows the ruins of ancient Palmyra as it appeared in 1725. Parts of the famous colonnades that lined the main street of ancient Palmyra can be seen in the background of the engraving. Palmyra has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 1980. Since then, the outbreak of conflict in Syria in 2011 has led to the subsequent destruction of many of its most significant and well-preserved monuments.