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جبل الأعلى

Qalb Lozeh
قلب لوزة

The most well-known monument in the region of Jebel al-Aala (جبل الأعلى) is the fascinating church of Qalb Lozeh (قلب لوزة). Though there are earlier churches which survive in reasonable condition, this is the first example which realizes, on a monumental scale, the Syrian model of the broad-aisled basilica church. It anticipates the bold project at Qalaat Samaan (قلعة سمعان), near Aleppo (حلب), and its decoration …

Qarqbizeh
قرقبيزة

Qarqbizeh (قرقبيزة) is perhaps the most visually impressive of the sites in the region of Jebel al-Aala (جبل الأعلى), and is worth spending some time to explore. The setting overlooking the vast plain below is stunning, and the remains of this town are in remarkably good condition. The settlement is mostly made up of houses dating from the third to the sixth century. A patch for arable …

Beshandlaya
بشندلايا

Beshandlaya (بشندلايا) is a noteworthy site for its large rock-cut Roman tomb which dates from the second century. In addition to the tomb, there are a number of Byzantine-era remains including olive presses, a large villa and other residential buildings. There does not appear to be any church in Beshandlaya (بشندلايا), but the remains are worth a quick look if visiting the other sites in Jebel al-Aala (جبل …

Behyo
بحيو

Behyo (بحيو) was clearly one of the largest Byzantine settlements in the region of Jebel al-Aala (جبل الأعلى), and the remains include two sizable churches. The site is located on a mountain crest and has commanding views over the plains to the east and a small valley to the west. While the site covers an extensive area, the state of preservation is generally poor. The facade of the …

al-Kfeir
الكفير

al-Kfeir (الكفير) is a small Byzantine site which has an exceptionally well preserved church in addition to the remains of other structures from the period. Located in the mountainous region of Jebel al-Aala (جبل الأعلى), less than two kilometers from Qalb Lozeh (قلب لوزة), a visit to al-Kfeir (الكفير) is highly recommended if exploring the area. It is located in a small valley and the scenery, particularly in the spring, …

Barish al-Shamali
باريش الشمالي

The ruins of Barish al-Shamali (باريش الشمالي), located in the mountainous region of Jebel al-Aala (جبل الأعلى) to the southeast of Harem (حارم), date mostly from the fourth and fifth centuries. Like most Byzantine remains in the area, the settlement began as an agricultural village with small farms, and later expanded to include a small church and some commercial buildings. While the church is in a …

Beitar
بيتر

The ruins of Beitar (بيتر), located in the mountainous region of Jebel al-Aala (جبل الأعلى), include several well-preserved structures from the Byzantine period. With commanding views of the surrounding countryside, Beitar (بيتر) is particularly beautiful in the spring. The site is uninhabited, aside from the occasional shepherd, and is located just about two kilometers southeast of the village of Banabel (بنابل). The site is clearly visible on the eastern …

Banabel
بنابل

Banabel (بنابل) is a friendly Druze village located about nine kilometers southeast of Harem (حارم) in the mountain region of Jebel al-Aala (جبل الأعلى). This small village contains numerous remains dating back to the late Roman period, but no church. The ruins include a sizable house (two storied) with an attractive engaged Corinthian column, one of three said to be from the second century. To the south of …