Famous for its mosaics and monuments dating from the 3rd century A.D., Shahba is thought to be the only town in Syria the Romans built from scratch and one of the most important architectural legacies of their rule in the East. It was founded by Philip the Arab Roman Emperor [232-237 A.D.] who subsequently raised its status to that of a colony and named it Philippopolis.  At the time of his death in 249, however, the vast building plan had not been completed, and the town was then substantially repopulated by the Druze.  Today Shahba retains a remarkable proportion of its original Roman walls, roads and public buildings.