05 October 2008

Photo tour of Apamea - Syria

Apamea, amazing.

Also known as Afamia, it is home to the longest roman colonnaded road in the world. Apeama is named after the wife of a former general to Alexander the Great. It used to be a great city, very prosperous, wealthy and fertile. I'll spare you the history lesson and just get on with the photos but i do recommend finding out more, it really is very interesting.

On the way to Apamea, the first thing you see is the Citadel. It is still inhabited and has grown so much it has extended beyond its original walls. Unfortunately I didn't see it. Being such a full day already we didn't have much time. At the site of the ruins you can see clearly how the citadel stands.

Apamea is one of those places which is not very touristy at all...yes you get the odd person trying to sell you something but mostly it was deserted. Other than one other tour bus group there was hardly anyone there. There has been some excavation work and some attempts at restoring certain aspects of the old city. It really is an incredible sight, the sheer scale of the city, the grooves in the roads made from chariots makes your spine tingle.

You can walk around anywhere and touch everything - you could probably pick up a piece of the city and take it home and no one would notice! Of course I'm kidding about that, aside from Syria being very strict about its artifacts, no one should take something from a historical site. Take a look at this photo...it really broke my heart. This piece is beautiful, it could have been the top most piece of a column or something similar but it lies in the sand partially eroded and broken...and theres lots more like that...carry on luggage anyone??

Where was I? Right, Apamea was ruined by earthquakes several times and was rebuilt but finally after the last one that shook the region and devastated the city, it was never rebuilt. But it is beautiful still.

On to the photos...

1) A facade of what is believed to be shopfronts

2) A view of the 2km long road

3 and 4) The Portico

5) the Portico and the Votive column which marks a major intersection


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