Basilica St. Simeon and the DEAD CITIES !

Qala'at Samaan Travel Blog

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Basilica St Simeon- well preserved ruins
Back in the hostel Massimo was planning to go to the ruins of Qala’at Samaan also known as Basilica St Simeon. Earlier that day there was another Spanish couple staying in the same hostel that Massimo had teamed up with them in renting a private taxi to go to Basillica St. Simeon. I was heading south to Hama after a day in Aleppo. Coincidently the Spanish couple Jose Luis & Amaia was heading to Hama too so Massimo suggested I could talk with Jose Luis if I could team up with them leaving Aleppo to Hama. Anybody going to Syria or any part of middle east would likely will team up with fellow travelers going to remote sites as public transport hardly reaching them.
Basilica St Simeon
All agreed that me, Massimo & wife and Jose Luis & Amaia would renting a private taxi to Basillica St. Simeon.

Qala’at Samaan is 40 minute drive northwest from Aleppo. The ruins are among the most atmospheric of Syria’s archeological sites. The basilica commemorates St. Simeon Stylites, one of Syria’s most eccentric early Christians. The site is remarkably well preserved with the quite lovely Romanesque façade still standing and the arches of the octagonal yard still reasonably complete. View of the surrounding countryside are simply stunning, especially towards the west and to Turkey in the north.

After 2 hours in Qala’at Samaan the taxi brought us back to the fringe of Aleppo dropping Massimo & wife and we continued our journey to Serjilla and Al-Bara also known as Ded Cities. This eerie ancient ghost towns are dotted along the limestone hills that lie between the Aleppo-Hama highway. There are lots of dead cities in north Syria, dated back from the time when this area was part of hinterland of the great Byzantine city of Antioch. The mystery is why those cities were abandoned. Latest theory is that they were emptied by demographic shifts and trade routes changed.


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sweetsummerdaiz says:
incredibly well preserved.
Posted on: Sep 01, 2009
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Basilica St Simeon- well preserved…
Basilica St Simeon- well preserve…
Basilica St Simeon
Basilica St Simeon
Basilica St Simeon
Basilica St Simeon
Basilica St Simeon
Basilica St Simeon
Serjilla
Serjilla
Serjilla
Serjilla
Serjilla
Serjilla
Serjilla
Serjilla
kid selling fruites
kid selling fruites
Basilica St Simeon
Basilica St Simeon
Basilica St Simeon
Basilica St Simeon
olives
olives
Dead Cities
Dead Cities
Olive
Olive
Al Bara
Al Bara
Al Bara
Al Bara
Al Bara
Al Bara
Qala'at Samaan
photo by: Biedjee