Shinshirah (شنشراح), also known as Khirbet Has (خربة حاس), is one the largest Byzantine settlements in the limestone massif. With the remains of dozens of large villas and several churches on a hilltop plateau, Shinshirah (شنشراح) is one of the most impressive sites in the region. While the remains are not as well-preserved as nearby Serjilla (سرجلا), nor is the architecture as ornate as in al-Bara (البارة), the site is well worth a visit. It has been overlooked by most major guidebooks, and few tourists ever make it here, though it is a favorite picnic spot with locals from nearby villages. Given the extensive scale of the site, allow at least an hour to explore.
Getting There: Like most sites in the Jebel al-Zawiyeh (جبل الزاوية) region, Shinshirah (شنشراح) 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), but there is no public transportation directly to the site, or even particularly close to it.
Shinshirah (شنشراح) is most easily approached from the south. To reach the site, 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 are two options from here. You can either disembark a few kilometers before the town of Kafr Nabl (كفر نبل), where a small country road winds about three and a half kilometers northwest to Shinshirah (شنشراح). Or, you can continue all the way to Kafr Nabl (كفر نبل) and follow the road heads north towards al-Bara (البارة). After about two kilometers, turn right and follow the road that runs northeast towards Shinshirah (شنشراح), an additional two and half kilometers on. There is no regular public transportation along these roads, so you’ll either need to hire a driver in Kafr Nabl (كفر نبل) or walk.
To approach Shinshirah (شنشراح) from the north, take one of the regular microbuses that 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. Shinshirah (شنشراح) is about nine kilometers southeast of al-Bara (البارة), four kilometers beyond the site of Serjilla (سرجلا). 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. Take the road heading south towards Kafr Nabl (كفر نبل) about one kilometer, then turn left (east) and continue four kilometers to Serjilla (سرجلا). Rabiaa (ربيعة) is two kilometers south of here, and Shinshirah (شنشراح) an additional two kilometers southwest.
Coordinates: 35°38’24.88″N / 36°34’08.41″E
Transliteration Variants: Shinshira, Shinsheirah, Shinsheira, Khirbet Hass
Rating: (7.5 / 10)