Serqaniya (سرقانيا) is a moderately sized Byzantine-era settlement that features the remains of two churches and several villas and underground tombs. Situated in a small and fertile valley, it is one of the more charming sites in the Jebel Samaan (جبل سمعان) region, particularly in the spring. The ruins are just a short walk south of the neighboring Kurdish village of Fafertin (فافرتين), and the residents cultivate fields surrounding the remains.
On the southern edge of the settlement is a particularly well preserved single nave church, perhaps the most interesting structure at the site. The rectangular apse still preserves its sloping stone roof, the chancel formed by a single arch. The exterior features stone carved decoration over the windows and doorways. The central area of ruins, to the north, includes one villa that is particularly well preserved. There is another single nave church dating from the fourth century, but it is in poor condition. Several other villas in varying states of preservation, and numerous underground burial chambers, can also be found in this area. Many of the buildings have stone carved decoration over the doorways.
Getting There: Serqaniya (سرقانيا) is somewhat remote, and reaching it poses a challenge. The closest public transportation is in the village of Basufan (باصوفان), approximately five and a half kilometers away. The microbus between Basufan (باصوفان) and Aleppo (حلب) passes by a road to the nearby village of Fafertin (فافرتين). The turn-off is about one kilometer beyond the site of Kharab Shams (خراب شمس), and leaves about three kilometers to travel on foot. Serqaniya (سرقانيا) is an additional five hundred meters south. The trip from Aleppo (حلب) only takes about thirty minutes, but unfortunately these microbuses are very infrequent. Alternatively, Serqaniya (سرقانيا) is only about six kilometers southeast of Qalaat Samaan (قلعة سمعان), the most prominent site in the region. Depending on your itinerary, it may be more convenient to walk or hitchhike from there, or hire a private driver from the nearby town of Daret Azeh (دارة عزة).
Coordinates: 36°18’59.00″N / 36°54’02.00″E
Transliteration Variants: Sarqaniya, Surqaniya, Serquniya, Sarquniya, Surquniya, Serkaniya, Sarkaniya, Surkaniya, Serkuniya, Sarkuniya, Surkuniya, Serqunya, Sarqanya, Surqanya, Serqunya, Sarqunya, Surqunya, Serkanya, Sarkanya, Surkanya, Serkunya, Sarkunya, Surkunya
Rating: (5 / 10)
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