The Syria of today offers tourists as much a cultural experience as a sightseeing one, where ancient history provides a fascinating backdrop to everyday life on the streets                          



Al Bara

Extending over an area of 6 Km sq. is the dead city of Al Bara, often considered one of the most important and beautiful in Syria. It is situated 35 Km south of Idlib on the western slopes of Al Zawiye Mountain and is at a height of 700 meters above sea level.

Settlement in Al Bara began in the 4th century as a center for the production of olive oil and wine. It expanded in the 5th and 6th centuries to become one of the largest of the Byzantine cities in the area, and became the processing center for many of the surrounding villages. The building style at Al Bara gives an idea of the prosperity it enjoyed, and by the end of the Byzantine era it included 5 churches that are still recognizable.

It was left alone during the Muslim conquests of Syria and was taken over by the Crusaders in 1098 by the Count of Toulouse who replaced the residing Bishop with a Latin one. In 1123 it fell to the Muslims who strengthened the defensive system by building Qalaat Abu Sufian.

The main vestiges at Al Bara include the pyramidal roofed tombs, that are carefully engraved with acanthus leave decorations, the five churches dating back to the 5th and 6th centuries and are beautiful examples of Byzantine basilicas, and the Muslim fort of Qalaat Abu Sufian. 

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