Damascus, the capital of Syria, and the largest town in Western Asia. It is called by the natives Dimashk es-Sham, or simply es-Sham, the name which is generally applied to all Syria. The city stands 1 1/2 mile from the mouth of the gorge, through which the Barada, the Chrysorrhoas of the Greeks, forces its way into the plain; and is 70 miles ESE. of Beyrout on the Mediterranean, and 120 NE. of Acre, to both of which railways were opened in 1895. It is situated on the western side of a plain 500 sq. m. in area, at an elevation of 2260 feet above the sea, and immediately to the north-west of the city the Anti-Libanus rises to a height of 3840 feet. This elevated part of the mountain, called Jebel Kasyun, is crowned by the Kubbet en-Nasr (' Dome of Victory'), from whose base the best view of Damascus is obtained. The seven canals by which water is drawn off from the central Barada are called rivers, two of them the Abana and Pharpar of Scripture. The appearance of Damascus as viewed from the mountain resembles a tennis-racquet. The handle, which lies in a south-westerly direction, is the Meidan, a suburb which extends along the Mecca pilgrim-route for about a mile, and ends at the Bawabat Alla (' Gate of God '). The other part is concentrated on the rivers, and is enclosed within ancient walls and encompassed by luxuriant gardens. At the western side of the city within the walls stands the citadel. It is a large moated quadrangular structure, 300 yards long and 250 wide, with projecting towers. It was erected In 1219, and has a massive appearance, but it is a good deal dilapidated. The palace stands outside the walls west of the citadel, and 400 yards oast of the citadel there towered above the city the Great Mosque, destroyed by fire in October 1S93. It was erected at the beginning of the 8th century on the site of the church of St John, just as that church had been erected by Arcadius about the beginning of the 5th century on the site of a pagan temple, which probably occupied the site of the ancient Beit Rimmon. Damascus contains 70 other mosques, and more than 150 chapels for prayer and instruction. The tomb of Nur ed-Din is one of the ornaments of the city; the best baths are decorated with beautiful tiles and marble. The Jewish quarter lies to the south of the 'street called Straight,' which runs east and west for about a mile, with Roman gateways at either end. The Christian quarter lies north of the street called Straight in the eastern part of the city. The different industries are also carried on in separate quarters, there being bazaars for the silversmiths, the saddlers, the shoemakers, etc. Damascus is a meeting-place between the East and West; and enormous caravans of camels pass to and fro between it and Bagdad, exchanging the dates and tobacco and spices and carpets of the East for the produce of the looms and workshops of Europe. The chief exports are grain, flour, native cotton and silk manufactures, wool, apricot paste, raisins, and liquorice-root; the imports include textiles, indigo, tobacco, coffee, sugar, and leather. In 1889 gas and tramways were introduced into the city. Pop. 170,000, of whom 20,000 are Christians (32,000 before the great massacre of July 1800), 6000 Jews, and the rest Mohammedans.