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My Visit to Syria in 2009

by Cendrine Marrouat 21 days ago in travel photography
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One of the most beautiful countries in the world

Photo credit: Cendrine Marrouat - https://creativeramblings.com

You may remember my recent post about the essence of photography. In it, I shared the story behind the above photo.

The best trip that I have ever taken was in Syria. I was there with a group of friends in April 2009.

To this day, I have never felt so attached to a place. Let me show you why through a few highlights…

NB:

  • At the time of my visit to Syria, I was not a photographer yet. I only had a point-and-shoot camera with me, which explains the low quality of a few of my shots.
  • The word "Reminigram" refers to a type of digital image I created. I will introduce it in a future post.
  • Before using any of my photos on social media, please contact me at [email protected]

The Qalamun Mountains

In the Qalamun Mountains, Syria (Reminigram) – Photo credit: Cendrine Marrouat

The Qalamun Mountains are the northeastern portion of the Anti-Lebanon Mountains. Located northeast of Damascus, they run from Barada River Valley, in the southwest, to the city of Hisyah in the northeast.

The Qalamun Mountains are home to the Cherubim Monastery at Saidnaya.

Palmyra

Monumental Arch of Palmyra – Photo credit: Cendrine Marrouat

In Old Palmyra, Syria (Reminigram) – Photo credit: Cendrine Marrouat

Built in the 3rd century during the reign of emperor Septimius Severus, the Monumental Arch was one of the main attractions of Palmyra. It was destroyed by the ISIS in 2015 and there are plans to rebuild it using anastylosis.

Photo credit: Cendrine Marrouat

One of my favorite photos. The camel was lying there on its own, waiting for its master to come back. I didn’t dare move closer for fear I would scare it away. But in the end, the shot turned out looking better than if I had zoomed on the animal itself.

Photo credit: Cendrine Marrouatt

One of the most beautiful sights I have ever beheld!

The Home of Saint Simeon Stylites

Photo credit: Cendrine Marrouat

Located in Taladah, near Aleppo, this column is known as the “house” of Saint Simeon Stylites the Elder. The ascetic saint lived on top of it for 37 years in order to get away from the increasing number of people who visited him to ask for prayers and advice. Boys from the nearby village brought him food.

Deir Mar Musa

Photo credit: Cendrine Marrouat

Also known as the monastery of Saint Moses the Abyssinian, Deir Mar Musa is a monastic community of the Syriac Catholic Church located 80 km north of Damascus, in Syria. The main church boasts frescoes dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries.

According to Wikipedia, “An ancient building, stone circles, lines and tombs were recently discovered near the monastery in 2009 by archaeologist Robert Mason of the Royal Ontario Museum. Mason suggested that the ruins may date back 10,000 years and were likely constructed in Neolithic period (such as the Heavy Neolithic Qaraoun culture of the Anti-Lebanon). Further excavation and research, into this discovery, has been halted due to the threat of violence caused by the Syrian civil war.”

Sergiopolis

Photo credit: Cendrine Marrouat

Built in the 9th century BC, Resafa was a desert outpost then a city located in the Roman province of Euphratensis, in modern-day Syria. Its ramparts and buildings were erected by Emperor Justinian.

Resafa was a major stop on the caravan routes linking Aleppo, Dura Europos, and Palmyra. However, since there was no spring or running water, it depended on large and impressive underground cisterns to capture the winter and spring rains.

Resafa’s original name, Sergiopolis, is a reference to Saint Sergius, a martyred Christian soldier who was buried there. In the 4th century, it became a major Christian pilgrimage center.

Resafa is now an archaeological site near the city of Ar Raqqah. It has well preserved walls and ruins. The Basilica of Saint Sergius, in particular, is not something you would expect to see in the middle of a desert!

Sergiopolis (Reminigram) – Photo credit: Cendrine Marrouat

Jeradeh and other Dead Cities

Jeradeh – Photo credit: Cendrine Marrouat

Jeradeh is part of a group of 700 abandoned settlements (40 villages) in northwest Syria between Aleppo and Idlib. They contain numerous remains of Christian Byzantine architecture.

Most villages were built between the 1st and 7th centuries and were abandoned a couple of hundred years later.

The Citadel of Aleppo

Photo credit: Cendrine Marrouat

One of the oldest and largest castles in the world, the Citadel of Aleppo is a medieval fortified palace in the centre of the old city of Aleppo. The Greeks, Byzantines, Mamluks, and Ayyubids (among others) occupied it. The latter erected a majority of its structures in the 12th and 13th centuries.

Recent excavations uncovered the remains of an important Bronze Age neo-Hittite temple dating back to the 3rd millennia B.C.

The Citadel has received significant damage in the ongoing Syrian Civil War.

Other places to see in Syria: Damascus and its Great Mosque, the Aleppo Citadel, Krak des Chevaliers, Saidnaya, and the Church of Saint Simeon Stylites.

A Word of Warning

Due to the civil war that has been raging in Syria since 2011, the Government of Canada recommends NOT to travel there.

That's it for today!

Thank you for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts about this article with me on Twitter. I'm @haiku_shack.

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This post was originally published on my blog.

travel photography

About the author

Cendrine Marrouat

Artist⎜Multi-genre Author⎜Co-founder of Auroras & Blossoms / PoArtMo⎜(Co-)creator: flashku / kindku / pareiku / reminigram / sixku / vardhaku⎜Podcaster

Website: https://creativeramblings.com

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  • Babs Iverson7 days ago

    Fabulous adventure. Love traveling vicariously. Outstanding story!!!💕

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