Palmyra was an ancient city in central Syria. Located in an oasis, it had long been a vital caravan stop for travellers crossing the Syrian desert and was known as the Bride of the Desert. Palmyra is mentioned in the Bible as part of Solomon's Kingdom.
The Minaret of Samarra is part of the Great Mosque of Samarra in Samarra, Iraq. The mosque is one of the largest in the world, and was built by the Abbasid caliph Al-Mutawakkil . The minaret was originally connected to the mosque by a bridge.