Sunday, January 28, 2007

St. Elian Monastery In Qaryatein. دير مار اليان الشيخ الناسك

Qaryatein is found on the way from Palmyra to Damascus, and it seems that it was not so important, but still people here worked and lived in agriculture and farming.

The first document about the monastery is found in british museum (moved from Mar Mousa monastery’s files) states monastery’s age at about 1000 years, but some findings in the monastery itself tells that the age of monastery is 1500 years. It became spiritual center in 16-th century, till 18-th, then again lost in obscurity. Cemetery of St. Elian is kept, and revered by both Christian and Muslim population. Christians called him St. Elian, Muslims Sheikh Ahmad Al-Houri.

All the century long this place was visited by camping and teaching groups. Now after falling some parts of the structure, it is now built new church, and made further renovations and excavations.

The Door Of MonasteryA Carved StoneThe Old And New Sections Of The Monastery Of St. ElianThe Stones Of AgesOn The Walls Of The MonasteryThe Cemetery of St. ElianThe New Church Of The Monastery St. ElianSt. Elian Monastery

Qasr Al-Heer Al-Gharbi (palace)

Al-Heer Al-Gharbi PalaceSomewhere lost in the Syrian desert, the remnants of Hisham AbdulMalek's palace, Al-Heer, which is called Al-Gharbi (western), because there is an eastern palace too.
Found south-west of Palmyra.

Al-Heer Al-Gharbi PalaceAl-Heer Al-Gharbi Palaceقصر الحير الغربي Al-Heer Al-Gharbi PalaceOld Stones of Al-Heer Al-Gharbi PalaceAl-Heer Al-Gharbi SiteAl-Heer Al-Gharbi PalaceAl-Heer Al-Gharbi Palace SiteAl-Heer Al-Gharbi PalaceAl-Heer Al-Gharbi PalaceAl-Heer Al-Gharbi Palace قصر الحير الغربي

Al-Heer Al-Gharbi Palace Stones

Sunday, January 21, 2007

An Explorer To Qneyya, Yakubiye, And Nasira

QneyyaToday's trip as my friend mentioned was a discovery of Syria's unknown beauty. Villages sunk in green prosperous lands, although little was visible at this time, due to prevailing winter hue.
The first step was not so unknown Qneyya village-town, famous for centuries as a point in Orontes river pool. It was very cool to see the clean streets, covered with pebbles, and many buildings written on them the date built.


The friend of mine who guided us to the end of trip to Nasira and back, Shaaban mentioned that Syrian Tv Serials were filmed here. Even we stood on the same spot where actor Ayman Zidan turned the carriage up-down in an episode.


Then we approached the church of the town where were being renovations, just near it stood the school, and a small cemetry. Here are some shots from the church and around.





Secondly, we went to Yakubiye village, it is an old village also, far smaller than its fame! The fame here is from St. Anna Church, where many pilgrims come every year in a day specified for this saint. Here mostly Armenians come, and make "harisa", Armenian famous food, and distribute it to people attending the service and celebrations. See the pics.

Yakubiye. St. Anna Church

YakubiyeYakubiyeYakubiyeYakubiyeYakubiyeYakubiyeYakubiye. St. Anna ChurchYakubiye

Here are some views from Yakubiye village.


Syrian Villager's HomeYakubiyeSky Through BranchesYakubiyeYakubiye. NatureYakubiye

Another church in the village.


Continued to further north, we came to beautiful scenaries full of olive trees, rocks, long trees, and still green leaves.

Nasira Mountains

Nasira NatureNasira NatureNasira MountainsNasira MountainsNasira Mountains

Nasira village is small village, almost one family village, very old, still the old homes are seen, views are reminiscent of 100s years ago senses.


Nasira PathsAn Interesting Tree in NasiraVillage HomesNasiraNasiraNasiraNasira

These shots are from the high mountains, when we reached my friend's grandfather's home, living there in full calm and silent atmosphere. Enjoy the silence.

Nasira Nature

Nasira MountainsNasira MountainsNasira MountainsNasira NatureNasira Wild Flora