Raqqa (Arabic: الرقةar-Raqqah; Kurdish: Reqa) also called Raqa, Rakka and Al-Raqqah is a city in Syria located on the northeast bank of the Euphrates River, about 160 kilometres (99 miles) east of Aleppo. It is located 40 kilometres (25 miles) east of the Tabqa Dam, Syria's largest dam. The Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine city and bishopric Callinicum (formerly a Latin—and now a Maronite Catholic titular see) was the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate between 796 and 809, under the reign of Harun al-Rashid. With a population of 220,488 based on the 2004 official census, Raqqa was the sixth largest city in Syria.[3]

During the Syrian Civil War, the city was captured in 2013 by the Syrian opposition and then by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. ISIL went on to make the city its de facto capital in 2014.[4] As a result, the city was hit by airstrikes from the Syrian government, Russia, the United States, and several other countries. Most non-Sunni religious structures in the city were destroyed by ISIL, most notably the Shi'ite Uwais al-Qarni Mosque, while others have been forcefully converted into mosques. On 17 October 2017, following a lengthy battle that saw massive destruction to the city, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) declared the liberation of Raqqa from ISIL to be complete.[5]


See below for ecclesiastical history

Hellenistic and Byzantine Kallinikos

The area of Raqqa has been inhabited since remote antiquity, as attested by the mounds (tells) of Tall Zaydan and Tall al-Bi'a, the latter identified with the Babylonian city Tuttul.[6]

The modern city traces its history to the Hellenistic period, with the foundation of the city of Nikephorion (Greek: Νικηφόριον) by the Seleucid king Seleucus I Nicator (reigned 301–281 BC). His successor, Seleucus II Callinicus (r. 246–225 BC) enlarged the city and renamed it after himself as Kallinikos (Καλλίνικος, Latinized as Callinicum).[6]

In Roman times, it was part of the Roman province of Osrhoene, but had declined by the 4th century. Rebuilt by the Byzantine emperor Leo I (r. 457–474 AD) in 466, it was named Leontopolis (Λεοντόπολις or "city of Leon") after him, but the name Kallinikos prevailed.[7] The city played an important role in the Byzantine Empire's relation with Sassanid Persia and the wars fought between the two states. By treaty, it was recognized as one of the few official cross-border trading posts between the two empires, along with Nisibis and Artaxata.

The town was near the site of a battle in 531 between Romans and Sasanians, when the latter tried to invade the Roman territories, this time surprisingly via arid regions in Syria, to turn the tide of the Iberian War. The Persians won the battle, but the casualties on both sides were high. In 542, the city was destroyed by the Persian ruler Khusrau I (r. 531–579), who razed its fortifications and deported its population to Persia, but it was subsequently rebuilt by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I (r. 527–565). In 580, during another war with Persia, the future emperor Maurice scored a victory over the Persians near the city, during his retreat from an abortive expedition to capture Ctesiphon.[7]

Early Islamic period

The remains of the historic Baghdad gate

In the year 639 or 640, the city fell to the Muslim conqueror Iyad ibn Ghanm. Since then it has figured in Arabic sources as al-Raqqah.[6] At the surrender of the city, the Christian inhabitants concluded a treaty with Ibn Ghanm, quoted by al-Baladhuri. This allowed them freedom of worship in their existing churches, but forbade the construction of new ones. The city retained an active Christian community well into the Middle Ages—Michael the Syrian records twenty Syriac Orthodox (Jacobite) bishops from the 8th to the 12th centuries[8]—and had at least four monasteries, of which the Saint Zaccheus Monastery remained the most prominent.[6] The city's Jewish community also survived until at least the 12th century, when the traveller Benjamin of Tudela visited it and attended its synagogue.[6]

Ibn Ghanm's successor as governor of Raqqa and the Jazira, Sa'id ibn Amir ibn Hidhyam, built the city's first mosque. This building was later enlarged to monumental proportions, measuring some 73×108 metres, with a square brick minaret added later, allegedly in the mid-10th century. The mosque survived until the early 20th century, being described by the German archaeologist Ernst Herzfeld in 1907, but has since vanished.[6] Many companions of Muhammad lived in Raqqa.

In 656, during the First Fitna, the Battle of Siffin, the decisive clash between Ali and the Umayyad Mu'awiya took place ca. 45 kilometres (28 mi) west of Raqqa, and the tombs of several of Ali's followers (such as Ammar ibn Yasir and Uwais al-Qarani) are located in Raqqa and became a site of pilgrimage.[6] The city also contained a column with Ali's autograph, but this was removed in the 12th century and taken to Aleppo's Ghawth Mosque.[6]

The strategic importance of Raqqa grew during the wars at the end of the Umayyad period and the beginning of the Abbasid regime. Raqqa lay on the crossroads between Syria and Iraq and the road between Damascus, Palmyra, and the temporary seat of the caliphate Resafa, al-Ruha'.

Between 771 and 772, the Abbasid caliph al-Mansur built a garrison city about 200 metres to the west of Raqqa for a detachment of his Khorasanian Persian army. It was named al-Rāfiqah, "the companion". The strength of the Abbasid imperial military is still visible in the impressive city wall of al-Rāfiqah.

Raqqa and al-Rāfiqah merged into one urban complex, together larger than the former Umayyad capital Damascus. In 796, the caliph Harun al-Rashid chose Raqqa/al-Rafiqah as his imperial residence. For about thirteen years Raqqa was the capital of the Abbasid empire stretching from Northern Africa to Central Asia, while the main administrative body remained in Baghdad. The palace area of Raqqa covered an area of about 10 square kilometres (3.9 sq mi) north of the twin cities. One of the founding fathers of the Hanafi school of law, Muḥammad ash-Shaibānī, was chief qadi (judge) in Raqqa. The splendour of the court in Raqqa is documented in several poems, collected by Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahāni in his "Book of Songs" (Kitāb al-Aghāni). Only the small, restored so called Eastern Palace at the fringes of the palace district gives an impression of Abbasid architecture. Some of the palace complexes dating to this period have been excavated by a German team on behalf of the Director General of Antiquities. During this period there was also a thriving industrial complex located between the twin cities. Both German and English teams have excavated parts of the industrial complex revealing comprehensive evidence for pottery and glass production. Apart from large dumps of debris the evidence consisted of pottery and glass workshops containing the remains of pottery kilns and glass furnaces.[9]

Approximately 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) west of Raqqa lay the unfinished victory monument called Heraqla from the period of Harun al-Rashid. It is said to commemorate the conquest of the Byzantine city of Herakleia in Asia Minor in 806. Other theories connect it with cosmological events. The monument is preserved in a substructure of a square building in the centre of a circular walled enclosure, 500 metres (1,600 ft) in diameter. However, the upper part was never finished, because of the sudden death of Harun al-Rashid in Khurasan.

After the return of the court to Baghdad in 809, Raqqa remained the capital of the western part of the Abassid caliphs' empire, including Egypt.

Decline and period of Bedouin domination

Raqqa's fortunes declined in the late 9th century because of the continuous warfare between the Abbasids and the Tulunids and then with the Shii movement of the Qarmatians. During the period of the Hamdānids in the 940s the city declined rapidly. At the end of the 10th century until the beginning of the 12th century, Raqqa was controlled by Bedouin dynasties. The Banu Numayr had their pasture in the Diyār Muḍar and the Banu Uqay had their center in Qal'at Ja'bar.

Second blossoming

Raqqa experienced a second blossoming, based on agriculture and industrial production, during the Zangid and Ayyubid period in the 12th and first half of the 13th century. Most famous is the blue-glazed so-called Raqqa ware. The still visible Bāb Baghdād (Baghdad Gate) and the so-called Qasr al-Banāt (Castle of the Ladies) are notable buildings from this period. The famous ruler 'Imād ad-Dīn Zangī who was killed in 1146 was buried here initially. Raqqa was destroyed during the Mongol wars in the 1260s. There is a report about the killing of the last inhabitants of the urban ruin in 1288.

Ottoman period

In the 16th century, Raqqa again entered the historical record as an Ottoman customs post on the Euphrates. The Eyalet (province) of Raqqa (Ottoman form sometimes spelled as Rakka) was created. However, the capital of this eyalet and seat of the vali was not Raqqa but Al-Ruha', about 160 kilometres (99 mi) north of Raqqa.

Raqqa was at this time a place of wintering for Arab semi nomadic tribes and practically an empty place only presenting its extensive archeological remains. It was the establishment in 1864 by the Ottomans of a Janissary garrison called ''Karakul'' located the south east corner of the Abbasid enclosure that led to the revival of the modern city of Raqqa.[10] It attracted many families from Iraq, other parts of Syria and south eastern Turkey and over the next decades the province became the centre of the Ottoman Empire's tribal settlement (iskân) policy.[11]

These first families were nicknamed ''The Ghul'' by the surrounding Arab semi nomadic tribes from which they bought the right to settle within the Abbasid enclosure, near the Ottoman garrison. They recovered the ancient bricks of the enclosure to build the first buildings of modern Raqqah. They came under the protection of the surrounding Arab semi nomadic tribes because they feared attacks from other neighboring tribes on their herds.[10]

Because of this these families decided to form an alliance of two gatherings, one of them being the ''Al-Akrad'', which means The Kurds in Arabic. This gathering included mostly Kurds but also Arabs and likely Turks as well. There is a controversy, even today, concerning that some families within the Al-Akrad gathering refuse the Kurdish designation. The Akrad gathering say that they mostly belong to the Milli confederation and Dulaym tribe, which can explain some of the controversy within the gathering concering that the Milli confederation is mostly Kurdish and the Dulaym tribe is Arab. Most of the Kurdish families in this gathering came from an area called ''Nahid Al-Jilab, which is located 20km north east of Ruha.[10] [check quotation syntax]

The other gathering called ''Asharin'' came from the town of Al-Asharah on the southern banks of the Euphrates. The gathering included several Arab tribes and say that they belong to the Bu Badran and Mawali tribes.The Akrad clamied space west and the Asharin claimed space east of the of Ottoman garrsion.[10]

In the early 20th century, two waves of Cherkess refugees from the Caucasian war were granted lands west of the Abbasid enclosure by. the Ottomans.[10]

In 1915, Armenians fleeing from the Armenian genocide were also collected in Raqqa by the Arab Ujaily family. Most of them returned to Aleppo in the 1920s but they formed and still form the majority of the Raqqa Christian community.[10]

20th century

In the 1950s, the worldwide cotton boom stimulated an unpreceded growth of the city and the re-cultivation of this part of the middle Euphrates area. Cotton is still the main agricultural product of the region.

The growth of the city meant on the other hand a removal of the archaeological remains of the city's great past. The palace area is now almost covered with settlements, as well as the former area of the ancient al-Raqqa (today Mishlab) and the former Abbasid industrial district (today al-Mukhtalţa). Only parts were archaeologically explored. The 12th-century citadel was removed in the 1950s (today Dawwār as-Sā'a, the clock-tower circle). In the 1980s rescue excavations in the palace area began as well as the conservation of the Abbasid city walls with the Bāb Baghdād and the two main monuments intra muros, the Abbasid mosque and the Qasr al-Banāt.

There is a museum, known as the Raqqa Museum, housed in an administration-building erected during the French Mandate period.

Syrian Civil War and ISIS

Raqqa city map

In March 2013, during the Syrian Civil War, Islamist jihadist militants from Al-Nusra Front and other groups (including the Free Syrian Army[4]) overran the government loyalists in the city in the Battle of Raqqa and declared it under their control after seizing the central square and pulling down the statue of the former president of Syria Hafez al-Assad.[12]

The Al Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front set up a sharia court at the sports centre[13] and in early June 2013 the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant said they were open to receive complaints at their Raqqa headquarters.[14]


Migration from Aleppo, Homs, Idlib and other inhabited places to the city occurred as a consequence of the uprising against Assad, the city was known as the hotel of the revolution by some because of the fact that people from other places moved there.[4]

Control by ISIL (January 2014–October 2017)

Destroyed neighborhood in Raqqa in August 2017

ISIL took complete control of Raqqa by 13 January 2014.[15] ISIL proceeded to execute Alawites and suspected supporters of Bashar al-Assad in the city and destroyed the city's Shia mosques and Christian churches[16] such as the Armenian Catholic Church of the Martyrs, which was then converted into an ISIL police headquarters and an Islamic center tasked to recruit new fighters.[17][18][19] The Christian population of Raqqa, which had been estimated to be as much as 10% of the total population before the civil war began, largely fled the city.[20][21][22]

On 15 November 2015, France, in response to the attacks in Paris of two days earlier, dropped about 20 bombs on multiple ISIL targets located in Raqqa.[23]

Pro-government sources said an anti-IS uprising took place between 5 March and 7 March 2016.[24]

On 26 October 2016 US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said that an offensive to retake Raqqa from IS would begin within weeks.[25]

The SDF, supported by the U.S., launched the Second Battle of Raqqa on 6 June 2017, and declared victory in the city on 17 October 2017. Bombardment by the U.S.-led coalition led to destruction of most of the city, including civilian infrastructure.[26][27][28][5] Some 270,000 people were said to have fled Raqqa with no homes to return to.[29]


At the end of October 2017, the government of Syria issued a statement that said: ″Syria considers the claims of the United States and its so-called alliance about the liberation of Raqqa city from ISIS to be lies aiming to divert international public opinion from the crimes committed by this alliance in Raqqa province. [...] more than 90% of Raqqa city has been leveled due to the deliberate and barbaric bombardment of the city and the towns near it by the alliance, which also destroyed all services and infrastructures and forced tens of thousands of locals to leave the city and become refugees. [...] Syria still considers Raqqa to be an occupied city, and it can only be considered liberated when the Syrian Arab Army enters it.″[30]

Ecclesiastical history

In the 6th century, Kallinikos became a center of Assyrian monasticism. Dayra d'Mār Zakkā, or the Saint Zacchaeus monastery, situated on Tall al-Bi'a, became renowned. A mosaic inscription there is dated to the year 509, presumably from the period of the foundation of the monastery. Daira d'Mār Zakkā is mentioned by various sources up to the 10th century. The second important monastery in the area was the Bīzūnā monastery or Dairā d-Esţunā, the 'monastery of the column'. The city became one of the main cities of the historical Diyār Muḍar, the western part of the Jazīra.[citation needed]

Michael the Syrian records twenty Syriac Orthodox (Jacobite) bishops from the 8th to the 12th centuries[31]—and had at least four monasteries, of which the Saint Zaccheus Monastery remained the most prominent.

In the 9th century, when Raqqa served as capital of the western half of the Abbasid Caliphate, Dayra d'Mār Zakkā, or the Saint Zacchaeus Monastery, became the seat of the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, one of several rivals for the apostolic succession of the Ancient patriarchal see, which has several more rivals of Catholic and Orthodox churches.


Callinicum early became the seat of a Christian diocese. In 388, Byzantine Emperor Theodosius the Great was informed that a crowd of Christians, led by their bishop, had destroyed the synagogue. He ordered the synagogue rebuilt at the expense of the bishop. Ambrose wrote to Theodosius, pointing out he was thereby "exposing the bishop to the danger of either acting against the truth or of death",[32] and Theodosius rescinded his decree.[33]

Bishop Damianus of Callinicum took part in the Council of Chalcedon in 451 and in 458 was a signatory of the letter that the bishops of the province wrote to Emperor Leo I the Thracian after the death of Proterius of Alexandria. In 518 Paulus was deposed for having joined the anti-Chalcedonian Severus of Antioch. Callinicum had a Bishop Ioannes in the mid-6th century.[34][35] In the same century, a Notitia Episcopatuum lists the diocese as a suffragan of Edessa, the capital and metropolitan see of Osrhoene.[36]

Titular sees

No longer a residential bishopric, Callinicum has been listed by the Catholic Church twice as a titular see, as suffragan of the Metropolitan of the Late Roman province of Osroene : first as Latin - (meanwhile suppressed) and currently as Maronite titular bishopric.[37]

Callinicum of the Romans

[38] No later then the 18th century, the diocese was nominally restored as Latin Titular bishopric of Callinicum (Latin), adjective Callinicen(sis) (Latin) / Callinico (Curiate Italian).

In 1962 it was suppressed, to establish immediately the Episcopal Titular bishopric of Callinicum of the Maronites (see below)

It has had the following incumbents, all of the fitting episcopal (lowest) rank :

Callinicum of the Maronites

[39] In 1962 the simultaneously suppressed Latin Titular see of Callinicum (see above) was in turn restored, now for the Maronite Church (Eastern Catholic, Antiochian Rite) as Titular bishopric of Callinicum (Latin), Callinicen(sis) Maronitarum (Latin adjective) / Callinico (Curiate Italian).

It has had the following incumbents, so far of the fitting Episcopal (lowest) rank :


ISIL banned all media reporting outside its own efforts, kidnapping and killed journalists. However, a group calling itself Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently operated within the city and elsewhere during this period.[40] In response, ISIL has killed members of the group.[41] A film about the city made by RBSS was released internationally in 2017, premiering and winning an award at that years Sundance Film Festival.

In January 2016, a pseudonymous French author named Sophie Kasiki published a book about her move from Paris to the besieged city in 2015, where she was lured to perform hospital work, and her subsequent escape from ISIL.[42][43]


Prior to the Syrian Civil War the city was served by Syrian Railways.


Climate data for Raqqa
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 18
Average high °C (°F) 12
Average low °C (°F) 2
Record low °C (°F) −7
Average precipitation mm (inches) 22
Average precipitation days 7 6 5 5 2 0 0 0 0.1 2 3 6 36.1
Average relative humidity (%) 76 72 60 53 45 34 38 41 44 49 60 73 54
Source #1: [44]
Source #2: [45]

Notable locals

See also


  1. ^ "Refugees in Syria's Raqqa face 'extreme' IS landmine threat: U.N." Reuters. 6 February 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018. 
  2. ^ https://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/syria-crisis-northeast-syria-situation-report-no-21-1-31-january-2018
  3. ^ a b "2004 Census Data for ar-Raqqah nahiyah" (in Arabic). Syrian Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 15 October 2015.  Also available in English: "2004 Census Data". UN OCHA. Retrieved 15 October 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c D. Remnick (22 November 2015) (22 November 2015). Telling the Truth About ISIS and Raqqa. The New Yorker. Retrieved 2015-12-30. 
  5. ^ a b "Raqqa: IS 'capital' falls to US-backed Syrian forces". BBC News. 17 October 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Meinecke 1995, p. 410.
  7. ^ a b Mango 1991, p. 1094.
  8. ^ Revue de l'Orient chrétien, VI (1901), p. 197.
  9. ^ Henderson, Julian (2005). Antiquity. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f Ababsa, Myriam (2010-09-20). Raqqa, territoires et pratiques sociales d'une ville syrienne. Contemporain publications. Beyrouth: Presses de l’Ifpo. pp. 25–66. ISBN 9782351592625. 
  11. ^ Stefan Winter, "The Province of Raqqa under Ottoman Rule, 1535–1800" in Journal of Near Eastern Studies 68 (2009), 253–67.
  12. ^ "Syria rebels capture northern Raqqa city". 
  13. ^ "Under the black flag of al-Qaeda, the Syrian city ruled by gangs of extremists". The Telegraph. 12 May 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  14. ^ "Al-Qaeda sets up complaints department". The Telegraph. 2 June 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  15. ^ "Syria, anti-Assad rebel infighting leaves 700 dead, including civilians". AsiaNews. 13 January 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  16. ^ Asia News. 27 September 2013, As jihadist rebels burn two Catholic churches in al-Raqqah, Assad's enemies openly split
  17. ^ "Inside ISIS: 2 women go undercover in Raqqa". The Foreign Desk. 14 March 2016. 
  18. ^ "Life in a Jihadist Capital: Order With a Darker Side". New York Times. 23 July 2014. After capturing the largest, the Armenian Catholic Martyrs Church, ISIS removed its crosses, hung black flags from its facade and converted it into an Islamic center that screens videos of battles and suicide operations to recruit new fighters. 
  19. ^ http://www.worldmag.com/2013/10/armenian_catholic_church_of_the_martyrs
  20. ^ "The Mysterious Fall of Raqqa, Syria's Kandahar". Al-Akhbar. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  21. ^ "Syrian activists flee abuse in al-Qaeda-run Raqqa". BBC News. 13 November 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  22. ^ "Islamic State torches churches in Al-Raqqa". Syria Newsdesk. 26 September 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  23. ^ "France Drops 20 Bombs on IS Stronghold Raqqa". Sky News. 15 November 2015. 
  24. ^ Fadel, Leith. "Civilians rise up against ISIS rule in Raqqa City: government". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 2016-03-07. 
  25. ^ NICHOLS, HANS; BRUTON, F. BRINLEY (26 October 2016). "Raqqa Offensive Against ISIS to Begin Within Weeks: Ash Carter". NBC News. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  26. ^ The Islamic State Is Gone. But Raqqa Lies in Pieces Time, October 2017.
  27. ^ Raqqa: US coalition 'wiped city off Earth', Russia says BBC, 22 October 2017.
  28. ^ "Victory through annihilation: Ruin, death & discord left after US-led coalition takes Raqqa". 
  29. ^ Raqqa: Isis 'capital' liberated by US-backed forces - but civilians face months of hardship with city left devastated The Independent, 17 October 2017.
  30. ^ Foreign Ministry: Raqqa still occupied, can only be considered liberated when Syrian Army enters it SANA, 29 October 2017.
  31. ^ Revue de l'Orient chrétien, VI (1901), p. 197.
  32. ^ Philip Schaff (editor), Ambrose: Select Works and Letters, Letter XL
  33. ^ A.D. Lee, From Rome to Byzantium AD 363 to 565 (Oxford University Press 2013 ISBN 978-0-74866835-9)
  34. ^ Pius Bonifacius Gams, Series episcoporum Ecclesiae Catholicae, Leipzig 1931, p. 437
  35. ^ Michel Lequien, Oriens christianus in quatuor Patriarchatus digestus, Paris 1740, Vol. II, coll. 969–972
  36. ^ Siméon Vailhé in Echos d'Orient 1907, p. 94 e p. 145.
  37. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 856
  38. ^ http://www.gcatholic.org/dioceses/former/t3377.htm
  39. ^ http://www.gcatholic.org/dioceses/former/t0378.htm GCatholic
  40. ^ K. Shaheen (2 December 2015) - Airstrikes have become routine for people in Raqqa, says activist The Guardian [Retrieved 2015-12-30]
  41. ^ British Broadcasting Corporation (28 December 2015) - Anti-Islamic State journalist murdered in Turkey BBC [Retrieved 2015-12-30]
  42. ^ Willsher, Kim (8 January 2016). "'I went to join Isis in Syria, taking my four-year-old. It was a journey into hell'". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 January 2016. 
  43. ^ Saavedra, Laetitia; Duquesne, Margaux (8 January 2016). "Les femmes djihadistes étrangères se comportent comme des colons en Syrie". FranceInter (in French). Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  44. ^ "Climate statistics for Ar-Raqqah". World Weather Online. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  45. ^ "Averages for Ar-Raqqah". Weather Base. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 

Further reading

  • Jenkins-Madina, Marilyn (2006). Raqqa revisited: ceramics of Ayyubid Syria. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 1588391841. 
  • Mango, Marlia M. (1991). "Kallinikos". In Kazhdan, Alexander. The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. p. 1094. ISBN 978-0-19-504652-6. 
  • Meinecke, Michael (1991). "Raqqa on the Euphrates. Recent Excavations at the Residence of Harun er-Rashid". In Kerner, Susanne. The Near East in Antiquity. German Contributions to the Archaeology of Jordan, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt II. Amman. pp. 17–32. 
  • Meinecke, Michael (1991) [1412 AH]. "Early Abbasid Stucco Decoration in Bilad al-Sham". In Muhammad Adnan al-Bakhit – Robert Schick. Bilad al-Sham During the 'Abbasid Period (132 AH/750 AD – 451 AH/1059 AD). Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference for the History of the Bilad al-Sham 7–11 Sha'ban 1410 AH/4–8 March 1990, English and French Section. Amman. pp. 226–237. 
  • Meinecke, Michael (1995). "al-Raḳḳa". The Encyclopedia of Islam, New Edition, Volume VIII: Ned–Sam. Leiden and New York: BRILL. pp. 410–414. ISBN 90-04-09834-8. 
  • Meinecke, Michael (1996). "Forced Labor in Early Islamic Architecture: The Case of ar-Raqqa/ar-Rafiqa on the Euphrates". Patterns and Stylistic Changes in Islamic Architecture. Local Traditions Versus Migrating Artists. New York, London. pp. 5–30. ISBN 0-8147-5492-9. 
  • Meinecke, Michael (1996). "Ar-Raqqa am Euphrat: Imperiale und religiöse Strukturen der islamischen Stadt". Mitteilungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft (128): 157–172. 
  • Heidemann, Stefan (2002). "Die Renaissance der Städte in Nordsyrien und Nordmesopotamien. Städtische Entwicklung und wirtschaftliche Bedingungen in ar-Raqqa und Harran von der Zeit der beduinischen Vorherrschaft bis zu den Seldschuken". Islamic History and Civilization. Studies and Texts. Leiden: Brill (40). 
  • Ababsa, Myriam (2002). "Les mausolées invisibles: Raqqa, ville de pèlerinage ou pôle étatique en Jazîra syrienne?". Annales de Géographie. 622: 647–664. 
  • Stefan Heidemann – Andrea Becker (edd.) (2003). Raqqa II – Die islamische Stadt. Mainz: Philipp von Zabern. 
  • Daiber, Verena; Becker, Andrea, eds. (2004). Raqqa III – Baudenkmäler und Paläste I, Mainz. Philipp von Zabern. 
  • Heidemann, Stefan (2005). "The Citadel of al-Raqqa and Fortifications in the Middle Euphrates Area". In Hugh Kennedy. Muslim Military Architecture in Greater Syria. From the Coming of Islam to the Ottoman Period. History of Warfare. 35. Leiden. pp. 122–150. 
  • Heidemann, Stefan (University of Jena) (2006). "The History of the Industrial and Commercial Area of 'Abbasid al-Raqqa Called al-Raqqa al-Muhtariqa" (PDF). Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. 69 (1): 32–52. doi:10.1017/s0041977x06000024. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 November 2015. 

External links

Current news and events

  • eraqqa Website for news relating to Raqqa


Historical and archeological