Basilica St. Simeon and the DEAD CITIES !
Qala'at Samaan Travel Blog› entry 16 of 34 › view all entries
August 11th, 2009 – by: herman_munster
Qalaâ€™at Samaan is 40 minute drive northwest from Aleppo. The ruins are among the most atmospheric of Syriaâ€™s archeological sites. The basilica commemorates St. Simeon Stylites, one of Syriaâ€™s most eccentric early Christians. The site is remarkably well preserved with the quite lovely Romanesque faÃ§ade 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 Qalaâ€™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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