The Byzantine-era site of Babisqa (بابسقا) is spread throughout a modern village on the northeastern edge of Jebel Barisha (جبل باريشا). The site contains the remains of several villas and churches, some of which are quite well-preserved. One of the most intricately carved stone doorways of the Byzantine ruins in the limestone massif can also be found here. Being close to several other sites in the northern part of Jebel Barisha (جبل باريشا), including the important site of Baqirha (باقرحا), makes Babisqa (بابسقا) well worth a visit.
Getting There: There are two ways to approach Babisqa (بابسقا). The site is located less than a kilometer south of the entrance to the border crossing with Turkey known as Bab al-Hawa (باب الهوا). Traveling towards the border, a turn to the left (south) heads up the mountain towards Babisqa (بابسقا). The ruins are spread throughout the modern village. However, there is no public transportation this close to the border, aside from the buses actually crossing into Turkey. You may have to hire a driver or walk from the nearby town of Sarmada (سرمدا), about six kilometers to the southeast.
The preferred option is probably to combine a visit to Babisqa (بابسقا) with other sites in the northeastern region of Jebel Barisha (جبل باريشا). By beginning at the site of Baqirha (باقرحا), to the southwest, and proceeding from there northeast to the sites of Deirouni (ديروني), Deir Qeita (دير قيتا) and Babisqa (بابسقا) and finally Bauda (بعودا), you can enjoy a full day of visiting archaeological sites and hiking almost entirely downhill. Any microbus traveling from Aleppo (حلب) to Harem (حارم) will pass by the road to these sites. After passing through the village of Sarmada (سرمدا) and beyond the ruins of al-Breij (البريج), the road will ascend a mountain peak to the village of Bashmishli (باشمشلي), also known as Ras al-Hosn (رآس الحصن). Immediately after this ascent, and before the village, the road will be on the right (north) side. The trip takes about 45 minutes from Aleppo (حلب). From this turn-off to Babisqa (بابسقا) is between five and six kilometers.
Coordinates: 36°12’53.17″N / 36°41’23.17″E
Transliteration Variants: Babesqa, Babasqa, Babiska, Babeska, Babaska
Rating: (4.5 / 10)