The traditional beehive houses of northern Syria are among the country’s architectural treasures -
Found in villages near Aleppo, the conical structures were designed to trap cool air and keep out the hot sun, making them well suited to the harsh desert climate. While similar structures were common throughout the Middle East and Mediterranean region a few thousand years ago, only in Syria do they still exist.
This 1930s postcard shows a beehive village to the northeast of Aleppo, possibly Sarouj -
These unique buildings are now at risk of destruction. In addition to killing tens of thousands of civilians, the war in Syria has devastated the country’s cultural and architectural heritage. Five of Syria’s six UNESCO world heritage sites have reportedly been damaged, and UNESCO recently placed all of these sites on its list of sites in danger. The members of the World Heritage Committee urged all parties to the conflict in Syria to “refrain from any action that would cause further damage to cultural heritage of the country and to fulfill their obligations under international law by taking all possible measures to protect such heritage.”