Slenfeh is one of most green and wonderful mountain-sides in Syria. There are many summits and highlands full of many kinds of trees. The altitude here is above 1500m, snow in winter, cool in summer. Visitors enjoy the historical sites: Salaheddin castle, Mahalibeh castle, and ancient village of Aramo, where can be found an old church.
Monthly Archives: November 2007
The Citadel of Salah Ed-Din (once known as Saone, also known as Saladdin Castle) is a castle in Syria. It is located 24 km east of Lattakia, in high mountainous terrain, on a ridge between two deep ravines and surrounded by forest.
The castle was built in ancient times, possibly during the Phoenician period (early first millennium BC). The Phoenicians are said to have surrendered it to Alexander the Great about 334 BC. In the tenth century the Byzantines gained control of it from the Aleppan Hamdanid dynasty, following which the castle was occupied by the Crusader Principality of Antioch. The Crusader walls were breached by the armies of Salah ed-Din in July 1188, and it is from this victory that the castle takes its present name.
Serjilla (Arabic:سيرجيلة) is one of the best preserved of the Dead Cities in northwestern Syria. It is located in the Jebel Riha, approx. 65 km north from Hama and approx. 80 km southwest from Aleppo, very close to ruins of an another “dead city” of Bara.
The settlement arose in a natural basin and prospered from cultivating of grapes and olives. A bath complex indicates the wealth of the community. Unusually, it was built in 473, already during the time of Christianity. In 1899 an archeological team from the Princeton University discovered a large mosaic on the main hall floor but it had disappeared when the team returned six years later. Traces of now destroyed murals were found on the walls as well. Next to the baths stands an andron, a meeting place for men. Further east there was a small church but not much remains of it. Among ruins of numerous residential houses it is worth to mention a two storey villa which still stands today. In two lower rooms one can still see an arch which would have supported the ceiling. This feature was typical in the Dead Cities. Behind the villa there is a sunken building with an olive press.
Like most other of the “Dead Cities”, Serjilla was abandoned in the seventh century when the Arabs conquered the region and discontinued merchant routes between Antioch and Apamea.