Syria 2006

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Sejilla - one of the Dead Cities of north western Syria.  It was a Christian settlement of the early Byzantine period
and was abandoned along with many surrounding cities towards the end of the first millennium This large bath house shows that Serjilla was a wealthy city The bath house dates from 473 AD and is the most intact example in Syria A large mosaic was found in the hall of the bath house in 1899, but had
disappeared several years later Serjilla - the bath house
Serjilla Serjilla Serjilla Serjilla Serjilla
View of the bath house and the adjoining Andron or meeting place for men The Andron or men's meeting place The Andron with its double portico The Andron This building was possibly a tavern
Serjilla Serjilla Serjilla Serjilla Serjilla
Serjilla - the ruins of different types of building Serjilla Serjilla - possibly an area for olive or wine pressing Serjilla - possibly an area for olive or wine pressing
Serjilla - local people graze their animals amongst the ruins
Serjilla Serjilla Serjilla Serjilla Serjilla
Al-Bara - the ruins in the distance. It is the largest of the Dead Cities Al-Bara - one of the five churches of the city Al-Bara - the apse of the church Al-Bara - a corinthian capital inside the church Al-Bara - one of the two pyramidal roofed tombs dating from the 6th Century
Al-Bara Al-Bara Al-Bara Al-Bara Al-Bara
Al-Bara - inside are five sarcophagi Al-Bara - the decorations on the sarcophagi are typical of the area Again, local people graze their sheep amongst the ruins Orchid Orchid
Al-Bara Al-Bara Al-Bara Orchid Orchid
Qala'at Saladin - Saladin's Castle - built by the Crusaders in the early 12th Century.  Saladin captured it in 1188 Qala'at Saladin -  a defensive gorge was hacked out of the rock, leaving a pillar of stone
to support the drawbridge of the castle Qala'at Saladin - the drawbridge rested on top of the pillar, giving access across the ravine Qala'at Saladin - a large vaulted space within the castle, possibly the stables Qala'at Saladin - looking down onto the roof of the stables
Qala'at Saladin Qala'at Saladin Qala'at Saladin Qala'at Saladin Qala'at Saladin
Qala'at Saladin - looking across the site to the Mediterranean Sea Qala'at Saladin - view across the castle to the Gate Towers, the Mosque, the Baths Complex and the Byzantine
Citadel Ugarit - an ancient Canaanite port on the Eastern Mediterranean. This is the  postern
gate in the city walls Ugarit - a large collection of clay tablets was found here, including several showing a cuneiform style of writing with
each symbol standing for a single sound rather than a whole word, thus giving what is regarded as the first alphabet Ugarit was occupied from pre-historic times until approx 1200 BC when it was abandoned.
This is one of the main streets
Qala'at Saladin Qala'at Saladin Ugarit Ugarit Ugarit
It was an important city with many buildings The group gather in the House of Rapanu to view the underground burial chamber The underground burial chamber in the House of Rapanu The entrance to the Royal Palace which dates from approx 14 - 13th Century BC.  The Ugarit Alphabet dates
from this period A courtyard of the Royal Palace
Ugarit Ugarit Ugarit Ugarit Ugarit
Lattakia - poster showing Bashir Al-Assad, the president of Syria Tartus - the Cathedral was built in the 12th Century by the Crusaders and was part church and part fortification Krak Des Chevaliers or Qala'at al-Hosn, viewed from across the valley. The arched structure is the aqueduct Krak Des Chevaliers - the entrance passage to the castle which was built by the
Knights Hospitaller in the 12th Century Krak Des Chevaliers - the castle consists of an inner fortress surrounded by a fortified
wall and, at this point, a moat cut out of the rock
Lattakia Tartus Krak Des Chevaliers Krak Des Chevaliers Krak Des Chevaliers
The inner fortress was so strong that it was never breached.  The Crusaders eventually surrendered the castle to
the Mameluke Sultan, Baibars in 1271 because of dwindling numbers Krak Des Chevaliers is probably the finest example of a Crusader castle It dominated a stategic position on the Homs Gap in the coastal mountain range and all movements could be
monitored and controlled Looking down from the top of the inner fortress to the walls and the valley beyond There are many vaulted corridors throughout the castle
Krak Des Chevaliers Krak Des Chevaliers Krak Des Chevaliers Krak Des Chevaliers Krak Des Chevaliers
A smaller corridor in the inner fortress The entrance and facade of the Loggia of the Inner Citadel.  It was built in the late 13th Century in Gothic style and
is unique in Syria The lower courtyard of the Inner Citadel The vaulted hall of the Inner Citadel One of several latrines situated conveniently in the corridor behind the vaulted hall
Krak Des Chevaliers Krak Des Chevaliers Krak Des Chevaliers Krak Des Chevaliers Krak Des Chevaliers
View of the lower courtyard from the upper part of the keep Looking back over the southern part of the castle at what remains of the baths A general view of the castle and the surrounding countryside The restaurant in which we had our lunch, seen across the valley from the castle The restaurant was run with entrepreneurial flair!
Krak Des Chevaliers Krak Des Chevaliers Krak Des Chevaliers Krak Des Chevaliers Krak Des Chevaliers
Anne, Penny and Janette enjoying lunch Hama is situated on the Orontes River.  The water wheels or Norias are characteristic of the region The Norias lift the water from the river into aqueducts which carry it to irrigate
the fields The Norias date from the 13th Century and still turn in spring Hama - Noria and the al-Nuri Mosque which was completed in 1163 by Nur al-Din
Krak Des Chevaliers Hama Hama Hama Hama
More sheep The 13th Century citadel of Qala'at al-Mudig houses the modern village of the Al-Ghab grasslands
The ruins of Apamea seen through the asphodels Apamea - the Antioch Gate at the northern end of the Cardo Maximus Apamea - the Antioch Gate
More sheep Apamea Apamea Apamea Apamea
Water pipes with inspection holes Looking south along the Cardo Maximus.  At 1.85 km the Cardo is considerably longer than the 1.2 km of the
colonnaded street of Palmyra Looking along what would have been the covered walkway alongside the Cardo This would have been lined with shops and buildings of religious or civic importance.
Brackets at first floor height would have carried statues of important dignitaries The Cardo was 37.5 m wide and still shows wheel ruts worn by the vehicles coming and going
Apamea Apamea Apamea Apamea Apamea
An honorific column marking the intersection with a decumanus Looking north towards the honorific column and the hills beyond The portico of an unknown building Corinthian capital with the image of Apamea at the top Elaborate decoration
Apamea Apamea Apamea Apamea Apamea
General view of the Cardo Fallen columns with unusual twisted fluting The twisted fluting is unusual and found in few places other than Apamea Its impact was emphasised by alternating the direction of the twisted fluting A man and his son sell a variety of nuts at the end of the Cardo
Apamea Apamea Apamea Apamea Apamea
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