A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Full List

Safita صافيتا

The Greek Orthodox Church of St Michael at Safita still occupies the fortified tower / church structure built under the Templars. De Laborde’s engraving from the 1840s shows the town walls  still surviving in part behind modern shops. ما تزال كنيسة القديس ميخائيل التابعة لطائفة اليونان الأرثوذكس تحتل أحد طوابق برج صافيتا الذي بناه فرسان […]

Saint George Monastery دير مار جرجس (Marmarita)

This monastery had been greatly expanded in recent years but at its core contains a small chapel possibly dating back to the time of Justinian (sixth century). توسع كثيراً هذا الدير في السنوات الماضية، إلا أن القسم الأصلي فيه يضم كنيسة قديمة ربما تعود لعهد الإمبراطور البيزنطي جوستنيان في القرن السادس الميلادي.  

Saint Simeon’s Church (Qalaat Semaan قلعة سمعان‎ )

One of the most extraordinary sites of the Byzantine period. This complex of four separate basilicas clustered around a central courtyard was designed to commemorate the column on which the Syrian ascetic ‘pillar saint’ (or stylite), Simeon, spent the last decades of his life, seeking isolation from all physical comforts. The site is described fully […]

Salamiye or Selamiye سلمية

The ancient town of Salamias was the seat of a Byzantine bishop, emphasising the importance of the northwest Syrian steppe in the late Roman and Byzantine centuries. The town was the birthplace of a dynasty that founded the Fatimid sect of Islam in the early eighth century. It was fortified in Ayyubid times (a little […]

Salkhad صلخد

The remains of the Ayyubid citadel al Salkhad in the southern Hauran, built into the cone of an extinct volcano, were little visited before the military base was removed from the site in the years immediately  pre-2011. Salkhad was a centre mentioned as early as the Old Testament (Salkha or Salcah), remaining in use as […]

Sanamein الصنمين

This curious ancient temple survives in the middle of a small town in the Hauran region of southern Syria. ما زالت هذه البلدة الصغيرة الواقعة في سهل حوران جنوب سورية، تحتفظ ببقايا معبد من العصر الروماني. Flickr site — لمزيد من الصور يمكن العودة للموقع: http://www.flickr.com/photos/monsyr/sets/72157628281544997/.  

Seidnaya صيدنايا

Just 27 km north of Damascus, the Seidnaya Plain shelters a remarkable collection of Christian remains, some re-cycled from the stones of Classical-era buildings. st famous is the convent of the Virgin of Seidnaya, founded by Justinian in the sixth century and still a pilgrimage destination for people of many faiths. The little Chapel of St […]

Serjilla سيرجيلا‎

One of the most frequently visited sites in the Limestone Massif of Northern Syria, Serjilla contains an exceptional range of well-preserved buildings clustered around a baths/inn complex. من أكثر مواقع الكتلة الشمالية في سورية شهرة وزيارة، يضم مجموعة كبيرة وهامة من المنشآت المحفوظة جيداً تتجمع حول المبنى المركزي المؤلف من مجمع يضم خاناً وحمامات. Flickr […]

Shahba شهبا

The modern Druze town of Shahba marks the spot where the Emperor, Philip the Arab, was born in the early third century AD. He ruled as Emperor from 244 to 249 and founded on this site a ‘new town’ to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of the foundation of Rome. A number of the major projects […]

Shaqqa شقا

Today a small village in the Hauran, Saqqa (Byzantine name, Maximianopolis) was once a centre of some significance—a Roman colonia and later seat of a bishop. The town retains a remarkable collection of unusual buildings, all achieved in a highly decorated form in the local basalt. The building dubbed by the first European traveller to […]

Sheikh Suleiman شيخ سليمان

This village once housed three churches of which remains of two survive. The church of AD 602 is one of the last churches built in Syria before the Persian invasion and the subsequent Islamic conquest. كانت هذه القرية فيما مضى تحوي ثلاث كنائس بقيت اثنتان منها. الكنيسة التي بنيت عام 602 تعتبر واحدة من آخر […]

Sheizar قلعة شيزر

This Islamic fortress on the eastern side of the Orontes Valley played an important role in the confrontation with the Crusaders in their line of posts in the coastal mountains to the west. It was the seat of the local Islamic dynasty, the Banu Munqidh, one of whose members, Osama, provided us in his memoirs […]

Sitt al-Rum ست الروم

The church of ‘Our Lady of the Greeks’ sites almost by itself on the plain north of Jebel Sheikh Barakat and on the way to the Byzantine village of Refade. This fourth century Byzantine chapel, single naves, is almost devoid of decoration. The second and third images below are posted courtesy of the blogsite of […]

Si`a سيع

This site near Qanawat in the southern reaches of the Jebel Hauran has yielded important insights into the art and architecture of this area in the early classical period. However, the widespread looting of the site for stone in the late Ottoman period has left little for the visitor to appreciate without a careful study […]

Slim or Suweilim سليم

The only surviving remains of this beautifully decorated Roman temple are parts of the two wings (antae) of the portico facing out to the east. Merrill’s engraving after his visit in the 1870s gives further indications of the shape of the cella or shrine, now hemmed in by village construction. Photos at — http://www.flickr.com/photos/monsyr/sets/72157628722453917/ ما تبقى […]

Sura or al-Suriye السورية

Little remains of this great Byzantine fortification on the Euphrates, north of the desert fortress of Resafa. The site is discussed with the latter in Monuments of Syria. A selection of photos of the site of Sura is found at my Flickr site — http://www.flickr.com/photos/monsyr/sets/72157627196090101/ بقايا قليلة من موقع محصن على ضفة نهر الفرات شمال […]

Suweida السويداء , ancient Soada

The ancient past of this prosperous town of the Roman era in the Hauran (southern Syria) has long remained elusive. Some of the structures noted by 19th century travellers have in fact disappeared, the victims of the building programs of the Late Ottoman Turkish army. Surviving remains lie nestled in among the structures of the […]