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Maaloula معلولا

This village tucked away in a ravine on the eastern slopes of the Anti-Lebanon range north of Damascus (Qalamoun region), hosts two important Christian pilgrimage centres.  On the town’s western outskirts above the ravine lies the important early Christian chapel of the Monastery of St Sarkis (Sergius). Below in the depths of the ravine, the […]

Maarat al-Numan معرة النعمان

Maarat al-Numan, 73 kms south of Aleppo on the highway to Hama and Damascus, is a town of classical origins (Megara) which came to greater prominence as one of the important points fortified by the Muslim forces against the Crusaders. Its small fortress became one of the strongpoints on the Muslim side of the line […]

Maraclée (Khrab Marqiye) خراب مرقية

This site once comprised fortified emplacements on land and in the sea and is mentioned in several account of the Crusades notable in the context of the thirteenth century struggle for control between the Templars and the local settler family, the de Ravendals. The land remains have disappeared but glimpses of the foundations of the […]

Mari (Tell Hariri) (ماري (تل الحريري

Mari a Bronze Age city on the Euphrates River. مدينة من عصر البرونز على نهر الفرات. No photos are available from my archives (either camera malfunction or weather foiled me) but I am indebted to Daniel Demeter for the photographs in the following gallery. للأسف لا تتوفر صور للموقع ضمن أرشيفي، ولكن الصور المعروضة هنا […]

Masyaf مصياف

During the period of the Crusader presence in Syria, the coastal mountains took on a role as a refuge for minorities seeking protection from the increasing efforts to advance the cause of Sunni orthodoxy through the main inland cities. The Ismaelis, offshoot of a movement that had split off from Shi`ite Islam, built up their […]

Meez or Me`ez ماعز

Meez (or Me`ez) in the Jebel Barisha area of the Limestone Massif (‘Dead Cities’) is one of the most interesting of the cities of the Massif as its history reached back well into the Roman period. It appears to have become a regional centre of some note and had its own inn or andron for visitors […]

Menbij منبج (ancient Hierapolis هيرابوليس)

Virtually nothing remains today of the architecture of ancient Hierapolis, the site of the famed Temple of the ‘Syrian Goddess’ (Atargatis) described at length in the work of the ancient author Lucian (‘De Dea Syriae’). Atargatis, the consort of the Semitic god, Hadad, enjoyed a fearsome reputation for the bloody sacrifices performed in her name. […]

Mushabbak المشبك

A small wayside church, five kilometres to the west of the Monastery of St Simeon. This is one of the most perfectly preserved Byzantine churches in Syria. It lacks only a roof and internal fittings to be complete. It was not located in an inhabited area and probably served as a chapel for pilgrims on […]

Mushennef المشنف

This small Roman temple dates from the early phase of the Roman occupation of Syria but was rebuilt in the late second century AD. Dedicated to a local manifestation of Zeus, it stood within an enclosure and backed onto a small lake. Mushennef lies on the eastern flanks of the Jebel Hauran. For further description, […]