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Damascus is the capital city of Syria. It is located in the South and is the cultural and economic center of the country. Throughout history, Damascus has attracted many tourists with its natural beauty and orchards, and has been called the "Pearl of the East.” According to some researchers, Damascus is the oldest city in the world with a permanent settlement. Damascus carries a trace of every culture living on its borders and has many historical structures. Damascus’ famous swords, from the 18th and 19th centuries, were known to be sharp, robust and beautifully crafted, and are one of the city's contributions to world culture. Modern tourist attractions include the Damascus railway station, the Umayyad Mosque, the Great Mosque and the National Museum of Damascus.