Atil (عتيل) is a small Druze village located just east of the main road between al-Suweida (السويداء) and Shahba (شهبا). The village is located about five kilometers north of al-Suweida (السويداء) and was once the Roman town of Athela. The ruins of a two apparently identical 2nd century Roman temples can be found here, hidden among the homes of the village. The southern temple is better preserved, while the northern temple has been incorporated into a modern house and tomb. Both have attractively decorated facades with fine detail.
From the center of the village, one of the temples is about one hundred meters to the south, while the other is about two hundred meters to the north. Between the two temples is a cistern as well as remains of other Roman and Byzantine era buildings, with much of the masonry incorporated into modern structures. The temples are well worth a visit if one has time to spare while in the area.
Getting There: Getting to Atil (عتيل) is easy, as it is just east of the main road linking al-Suweida (السويداء) to Shahba (شهبا) and Damascus (دمشق). Any public transportation traveling between Damascus (دمشق) or Shahba (شهبا) and al-Suweida (السويداء) will pass by here. It is also feasible to walk from al-Suweida (السويداء) in about 45 minutes. Large buses occasionally travel directly between al-Suweida (السويداء) and Atil (عتيل), a trip which takes about 10 minutes. Consider combining a visit to Atil (عتيل) with Salim (سليم), which is another few kilometers to the north.
Coordinates: 32°45’34.48″N / 36°34’55.23″E
Transliteration Variants: Atheel, Ateel, Atheil, Ateil, Athil
Rating: (5.5 / 10)