Hama Middle East Syria Travel

The Norias of Hama in Syria

norias hamaThe mere mention of the name Hama, the Syrian town 140 km south of Aleppo, triggers images of giant waterwheels gently turning along the banks of a river. Most travellers drop in for a short visit on their way to the larger metropolises of Aleppo or Damascus.

The city of Hama, or Hamat (means citadel in Arabic) lies some 200 kilometres north of Damascus and boasts with a long history dating back to 2000 BC. The giant wheels (nawaeer) were built by the Byzantines and have been used to lift water from the Orontes river (nahr el-Assi) onto nearby land, orchards and houses. Today, they stand as prominent historical and ancient landmarks that add a decorative touch with restaurants and cafés that line up the town’s riverside.

norias - hama

Like many passers by, we stopped for a brief pause and a photo opportunity on our way to the city of Aleppo. We took a little time to relax in the gardens along the riverbanks. We drank Arabic coffee brewed with cardamom, hab el hal, from a street vendor before enjoying lunch at the Apamee Cham Palace hotel.

Norias - Hama Syria Norias - Hama Syria

Norias - Hama Syria Norias - Hama Syria

The Norias of Hama


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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.