Apamea ruins

Apamea Travel Blog

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People i met here who contributed to, and improved my trip: Julia (Russia)

The ruined City of Apamea has an all too familiar History, with highs and lows and an inevitable earthquake to finish it off. Created in the 2nd Century BC by Seleucus I, the settlement prospered for the next 800 years, before the Persians sacked it not once (540AD), but twice (612AD). The Muslims took over the reigns from the Byzantines in the 7th Century AD, which was the penultimate hammer blow, with the final straw occurring in 1157 with the buildings been shook to the ground in a catastrophic quake.

The present day village of Qala'at al-Mudiq is a scruffy looking place, with a citadel perched on the hill, overlooking the modern settlement. The adults were helpful in pointing us in the right direction to the ruins, and whilst every child was keen to say 'Hello' and 'Welcome', some of them struck me as a bit cheeky and rude. I say this as they seemed more interested in saying an English word, getting our response and then saying something in Arabic that made their friends giggle, no doubt something rude and showing off.

After passing an old theatre, which had very little remaining to distinguish it, we came to the famous colonnaded street. Now i have seen umpteen fluted columns in the last few months, so as a rule seeing a few more wouldn't really gain my attention – but seeing 2kms worth was a little bit different! It is thought that Apamea boasts the longest surviving Roman road, which once contained 1200 pillars, each standing 10 metres high. We paid our 10SYP ($0.20) entry fee and set off along the paved path.

Many of the columns had been re-erected and there were also several partially excavated temples, churches and buildings jutting off from the main road. It really was impressive and the fine weather made for an enjoyable stroll. There was only one downside about the site and that was the men on motorbikes trying to sell postcards, fake 'ancient coins' and whatever other tat they could try and hawk.

We spent a couple of hours in and around the site, before deciding to call it a day when a big tour bus rolled up. We wandered back into the new town and ate a falafel whilst waiting for a minivan to take us to Suqeilibiyya (10SYP), from where we connected to a service back to Hama (35SYP).

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photo by: Biedjee