Deir Mar Musa (دير مار موسى), a monastery located in the desert mountains east of the town of al-Nabk (النبك), is one of the most spectacular sites in Syria. Originally built in the middle of the 6th century, the monastery was mostly in ruin until the 1980s when a major restoration project was undertaken. This eventually led to the establishment of a new monastic community in 1991. The church of the monastery has beautiful frescoes that date from between the 11th and 13th centuries.
Getting There: Occasional microbuses travel between Damascus (دمشق) and al-Nabk (النبك), departing from the large bus station at al-Thawra al-Arabiyeh al-Kabra Square (ساحة الثورة العربية الكبرى), which is northeast of al-Abaseen Square (ساحة العباسيين) and generally referred to simply as Karajat (كرجات). The trip takes about an hour. There are also microbuses between al-Nabk (النبك) and Homs (حمص), making it possible to stop at Deir Mar Musa (دير مار موسى) when traveling between Damascus (دمشق) and Homs (حمص).
From al-Nabk (النبك) it is about 20 kilometers to the monastery on a desert road, so hiring private transportation is recommended. The main road traveling east out of al-Nabk (النبك) gets to within 3 kilometers of the monastery, so hitchhiking most of the way should be possible as well. However, one should exercise caution on this lightly-traveled desert road.
Coordinates: 34°01’18.66″N / 36°50’33.06″E
Transliteration Variants: Deir Mar Mousa
Rating: (8.5 / 10)
Official Website: http://www.deirmarmusa.org