Palmyra, Valley of the Tombs

This gallery records the tower tombs which were destroyed in the Valley of the Tombs, Palmyra, apparently as a result of explosions set by ‘Islamic State’ in the days leading up to 2 Sep 2015. The first panel notes the tombs which had been destroyed as of 2 Sep 2015. The second panel is extracted from my […]

Zarzita زرزيتا

A rather remote ancient settlement lying west of Jebel Sheikh Barakat, the ruins include the remains of a tower originally connected by a colonnade to a sixth century church, possibly forming a monastic complex. I am indebted to Daniel Demeter (Syria Photo Guide website) for images two to four in the following gallery. مستوطنة بعيدة […]

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 […]

Kharab Shams خراب شمس

This site on the slopes to the east of the Church of St Simeon presents three churches in remarkable state of preservation. A fourth century church retains both of the columned arcades of its nave. Further up the rise, a sixth century church with its apse preserved. A small chapel lies on the heights at […]

Husn Suleiman حصن سليمان

This temple dedicated to Zeus Baetocaece lies high in the coastal mountains inland from Tartus. The walls of the temple enclosure are partly built from massive cyclopean blocks, a method of construction also seen at Baalbek. Their transport to the site was probably effected through the use of ramps leading from the nearby quarry on […]

Damascus دمشق — itinerary 11 the Midan Quarter

This route takes you through the first kilometre or more of the route the pilgrims took from Damascus as they set out on their journey to Mecca for the annual Hajj. While not marked by any spectacular buildings, Midan Street traverses many small examples of piety endowed by the city’s rulers across the centuries from […]

Damascus دمشق — itinerary 10 the Salihiye Quarter

A relatively short itinerary that take you west to east across the lower slopes of Jebel Kassyun behind Damascus. This extra-mural quarter was first developed as a refuge for Palestinians fleeing an earlier crisis in Palestine—the Crusaders’ bloody taking of the city in 1099. Salihiye acquired a reputation for holiness given the number of religious […]