ST. SIMEON

Also known as Qala’at Sama’an in Arabic, this site bears the name of the ascetic Saint Simeon who spent the last twenty-seven years of his life in hermetic isolation on the top of a column. After his death, the hill where he had lived became a much frequented place of pilgrimage for thousands around the Byzantine world.  In the 5th century, a ’martyrium’ was built in his honor.  This site includes an immense cruciform basilica, centered on the remains of St. Simeon’s pillar, as well as chapels, a monastery, a baptistry, and ’hotels,’ located around the church site and designed to serve the faithful.  The site offers spectacular views of the fertile limestone plateau which surrounds the hill.