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The overall form of the citadel town is circular but more elliptical to be precise. It rises some 30 meters above the ground level of the lower city and is made up mostly of inward looking courtyard houses with few public buildings.  Because of its imposing height, yellow-ochre color, and the solid perimeter wall, the town is perhaps one of the most dramatic visual experiences in the Middle East.


Originally, the town was reached only through a ramp on its southern slope that led to a huge and arched gateway.  From this gate steps led to a small open square which, in turn, led to four main alleyways which branched in all directions like a tree.  The town is not very large by comparison with other medieval towns in the region and elsewhere and one can easily walk its whole length and breadth in less than half an hour.




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