Deir Qeita (دير قيتا) is one of several Byzantine-era sites 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. The facade of the main church is in particularly good condition. Being close to several other sites in the northern part of Jebel Barisha (جبل باريشا), including the important site of Baqirha (باقرحا), makes Deir Qeita (دير قيتا) well worth a visit.
Getting There: There are two ways to approach Deir Qeita (دير قيتا). The preferred option is to combine a visit with other sites in the northeastern region of Jebel Barisha (جبل باريشا). Start at the site of Baqirha (باقرحا), to the southwest, and then proceed northeast to the sites of Deirouni (ديروني) and Deir Qeita (دير قيتا). Beyond, continuing east, are the sites of Babisqa (بابسقا) and Bauda (بعودا). By traveling this route, 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 Deir Qeita (دير قيتا) is about two and a half kilometers.
Alternatively, the site is located about three and a half kilometers southwest 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). Continue beyond Babisqa (بابسقا) about two kilometers, and the ruins will be visible on the right (north) side of the road. This route is less convenient if using public transportation, as no buses or microbuses travel this close to the border, aside from those actually crossing into Turkey.
Coordinates: 36°12’54.43″N / 36°39’57.35″E
Transliteration Variants: Deir Qita
Rating: (4.5 / 10)