ⓘ Deir al-Salib is a village in northern Syria, administratively part of the Hama Governorate, located 37 kilometers west of Hama. Nearby localities include Bilin ..

                                     

ⓘ Deir al-Salib

Deir al-Salib is a village in northern Syria, administratively part of the Hama Governorate, located 37 kilometers west of Hama. Nearby localities include Bilin to the southeast, al-Rabiaa to the east, Asilah to the northeast, Jubb Ramlah to the north, al-Laqbah and Deir Mama to the northwest, Masyaf to the west, al-Suwaydah to the southwest and Baarin and Aqrab to the south. According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics, Deir al-Salib had a population of 2.946 in the 2004 census. Its inhabitants are predominantly Alawites and Greek Orthodox Christians.

                                     

1. History

In the early 19th-century the Ottoman governor of Damascus, Abdullah Pasha al-Azm, granted the leaseholds of Deir al-Salib and its satellite farms to a close associate of his, Muhammad Gharib Bey al-Azm.

                                     

2. Byzantine church

Just outside Deir al-Salib is a 5th-6th century Byzantine-era church surrounded by fig trees. It is built in the architectural style typical of the Justinian period in Syria, with its two chapels. Its stone walls have a beige and ochre color. At the right of the entrance is a baptistery which still contains a cross-shaped baptismal. The narthex of the church is preceded by a central atrium and five columns demarcate its aisles. The apse is semi-circular and on the ground floor stands a gallery reserved for women. A small mausoleum containing three sarcophagi is situated at the side of the baptistery. The sarcophagi had engraved medallions that fitted crosses.

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