Aleppo was once the biggest city in Syria, a thriving metropolis and UNESCO listed world heritage site that is one of the oldest continually inhabited places in the world. It was the Ottoman Empire’s third largest city after Constantinople and Cairo and its old town preserved some medieval Arab architectural styles found nowhere else.
Since the battle of Aleppo began in 2012 it has been ravaged by war, on such a scale that combatants on both sides have called it ‘The Mother of Battles’. Much of the destruction was marked by the Syrian army’s use of barrel bombs indiscriminately dropped from helicopters, killing thousands, while hundreds of thousands more were forced to evacuate.
The catastrophic scale of damage to the city has been poignantly recorded here by a local establishment called Olympia Restaurant. They’ve published old photos of before the war alongside new ones in some of the worst hit spots.