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al-Bara
al-Bara

Archaeological City of Al-Bara

(Dp-news – Sana)

IDLEB- The archaeological city of Al-Bara in Idleb governorate contains a large number of ruins dating back to Roman, Byzantine and Arab eras that were used for religious, economic, social and military purposes in these eras.

Tourists visiting Al-Bara will see a beautiful heritage and architectural tableau surrounded by olive trees. The city has an overall area of 6 square kilometers and is located on the western slope of al-Arbaeen mountain 850 meters above see level, between the cities of Idleb, Aleppo and Lattakia.

A stone found in an ancient structure within the city shows that Al-Bara was known as "Kafar Adbarta" and had a degree of significance during the 2nd century BC. In the Roman era, it was known as "Karo Bira" and later "Kafat Albara." Later, Arab historians referred to it as Al-Bara.



Ancient Islamic graves and abandoned mosques in the city show that life continued in the city before and after the crusades. In the Byzantine era, the city was administratively linked to Apamea, though it enjoyed a stronger relation with the city of Antioch.

Due to its location and prosperity during the Byzantine era, it was targeted by the Crusaders who occupied it in 1098 AD, only for them to be defeated and expelled from it 25 years later.

The city's old houses are stills standing, with some of these houses consisting of two stories, which indicate to the prosperity that Al-Bara once enjoyed. Another indicator of this is the elaborate decoration of the buildings' facades, widows, balconies and rooms. Olive and wine presses were found in several of the houses' cellars.

One of the most important of these houses is referred to as Sobat Abbey or Sobat Residence. This house contains a garden with barrel-like stone basins, a burial chamber, and a raised platform on top of 12 pillars covered by a Greek triangular roof.

Al-Bara contains five ancient churches, including the Grand Church east of the city which dates back to the 4th or 5th century AD and a second, smaller church next to it. A third, larger church surrounded by a wall is located north of them, and evidence suggests that it was built over the ruins of a pagan temple.

The burial chambers in the city are large, square structures made of carved limestone with pyramid-shaped tops. The largest burial chamber contains 5 stone sarcophagi with prism-shaped lids.

Another important landmark is Abu Sufyan castle in the northeastern part of the city, which is one of the oldest castles in Syria and was built by Arabs before the Crusades, most probably during to Omayyad era in order to control the roads connecting Antioch, Apamea and Shaizar.

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