Perhaps the most well preserved of Byzantine-era sites in the limestone massif, Serjilla (سرجلا) should be included on any itinerary to the region. Nowhere else can you get a better sense of what life would have been like in rural Syria during the Byzantine period. Spread over a small valley and surrounding hills, the settlement includes a remarkably well preserved church, inn, baths, olive presses, tombs and several villas. While none of the buildings here were extravagant in scale, it most closely represents a complete village typical of the period.
Getting There: Like most sites in the Jebel al-Zawiyeh (جبل الزاوية) region, Serjilla (سرجلا) can be approached either from the south via Maarat al-Naaman (معرة النعمان) and Kafr Nabl (كفر نبل), or from the north via Ariha (آريحا) and al-Bara (البارة).
Serjilla (سرجلا) is most easily approached from the north. Regular microbuses travel from Aleppo (حلب) to Ariha (آريحا), a roughly thirty minute trip. From Ariha (آريحا) there are very infrequent microbuses to the town of al-Bara (البارة), which is also home to one of the most important archaeological sites in the region. There are three different roads that lead from al-Bara (البارة) to Serjilla (سرجلا), which is about five kilometers to the southeast. There is no regular public transportation beyond al-Bara (البارة), so you’ll either need to hire a driver in al-Bara (البارة) or walk the remaining distance.
Alternatively, to approach Serjilla (سرجلا) from the south, first travel to Maarat al-Naaman (معرة النعمان), which has frequent microbus connections with Aleppo (حلب). That trip takes about forty five minutes. Maarat al-Naaman (معرة النعمان) also has microbus connections with Hama (حماة) and Idleb (إدلب), but these are less frequent. From Maarat al-Naaman (معرة النعمان), the next step is to find a microbus to the town of Kafr Nabl (كفر نبل), about ten kilometers to the southwest. There is no regular public transportation beyond Kafr Nabl (كفر نبل), so you’ll either need to hire a driver from here or walk the remaining distance.
From Kafr Nabl (كفر نبل), a road heads north towards al-Bara (البارة). Follow this road for two kilometers, then turn right (east) and walk an additional two kilometers to the site of Shinshirah (شنشراح). From Shinshirah (شنشراح), a road continues northeast another two kilometers to the site of Rabiaa (ربيعة). Serjilla (سرجلا) is an additional two kilometers to the north of Rabiaa (ربيعة).
Coordinates: 35°40’17.55″N / 36°35’05.51″E
Transliteration Variants: Serjila, Serjella, Serjela, Sarjilla, Sarjila, Sarjella, Sarjela, Sergilla, Sergila, Sergella, Sergela, Sargilla, Sargila, Sargella, Sargela
Rating: (8.5 / 10)