Qalaat Samaan

Overview

Introduction

The Byzantine Church of St. Simeon (Qalaat Samaan) was a pilgrimage site built in honor of an incredibly ascetic monk who sat on a pillar for 36 years. The church was constructed around the pillar, but only a small nub remains today.

Although the church is in ruins, its scale and detailed stonework are very impressive. Four basilicas, forming a cross, were joined by a central octagonal courtyard. You can also see the remains of a monastery and baptistery—check out what appears to be a walk-through baptismal font. Views from the hilltop location are also nice.

St. Simeon is best seen as a day trip from Aleppo, 40 mi/65 km southeast.

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