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 record the village as a ‘Kaisariye’ is difficult to interpret with its elaborate facade, forecourt and three halls constructed with massive supporting arches.

Across from the ‘Kaisariye’ the remains of a facade adorned with niches but without any structure behind appears to be a ‘kalybe’ intended to display statuary associated with the Imperial cult—a common feature of Roman Arabia.

The third major structure is a monastery on the northern edge of town, still inhabited but now used as a farmyard.. A Druze meeting hall has put to good use a centralised chamber of the late Roman period.

Location map —

Shahba in the Hauran

location of Shaqqa (Maximianopolis) in the Hauran

 


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