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September 2021

Side Menu : ABOUT Syria : Aleppo : St.Simeon

St.Simeon :

This citadel is 60 km north-west of Aleppo. It was named after the hermit Saint Simon (Sam'an),  a shepherd from northern Syria,  who became a monk after a revelation  in  a dream.  Following  Saint Simon's  death  in 459 ,  the  Emperor Zenon ordered that  a cathedral be built where the saint used to pray.

The layout was original, centering on the famous column from which Saint Simon used to preach.  Four basilicas ,  arranged in the shape of  a cross, opened into an octagon covered by a dome, in the center of which stood the holy column.

It is a beautiful church built on the ridge of the hill where Saint Simon had taken up "residence". Simplicity and harmony combine to make the ruins of the Basilica of  St. Simon (an earthquake  destroyed  parts of  the church less than half a century after it had been built) a masterpiece of pre-Islamic art in Syria. 

In the 10th century, some towers and walls were erected. It was then called "Qal'at Sam'an" (Simon's Citadel).  It became the center  of conflict  between Byzantium and the Hamadani kingdom;  in 986,  the son of  Sayf al-Dawla al-Hamadani finally captured it.

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