Aleppo (Italianised form of Haleb), a town in the north of Syria, capital of a Turkish province between the Orontes and the Euphrates, in a fruitful valley watered by the Kuweik. It stands in a large hollow, surrounded by rocky hills of limestone, and beyond is mere desert. The fruitful gardens, celebrated for their excellent plantations of pistachios, are the sole contrast to the desolation which environs the city, whose numberless cupolas and minarets, clean, well-paved streets, and stately houses, make it even yet one of the most beautiful in the East. Till the discovery of the sea-route to India, it was a principal emporium of trade between Europe and Asia. It supplied a great part of the East with fabrics of silk, cotton, and wool, and gold and silver stuffs; but in 1822 an earthquake swallowed up two-thirds of the houses. The plague of 1827, the cholera of 1832, and the oppression of the Egyptian government, all but completed its destruction. It has only partially recovered from its misfortunes, but is still the principal emporium of the inland commerce of Northern Syria.
Its port is Scanderoon. Aleppo has a large trade in cotton and silk goods, skins, tobacco, wine, and oil; and manufactures much-admired cloth (of silk, cotton, and wool), carpets, cloaks, and soap. English goods are largely imported. The trade is mainly in the hands of the native Christians (Greeks and Armenians), who may number 20,000, and have superseded the European houses formerly here. The Jews, 5000 in number, are a very wealthy community. Aleppo is a telegraph station on the Indo-European line. Pop. 120,000.