Apamea Things to Do

  • Roman Villas, March 2008
    Roman Villas, March 2008
    by MM212
  • Theatre's Gateway, March 2008
    Theatre's Gateway, March 2008
    by MM212
  • Leftover step seating, March 2008
    Leftover step seating, March 2008
    by MM212

Most Recent Things to Do in Apamea

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    Al-Ghab Valley

    by MM212 Updated Oct 5, 2007

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    Looking down on al-Ghab Valley (Dec 2006)
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    Apamea strategically sits on a hill overlooking the flood plain of the Orontes River, called al-Ghab in Arabic. The valley is one of the most fertile regions in Syria, thanks to the drainage system developed decades ago to prevent the seasonal flooding that used to drown the plain. The views from Apamea are breathtaking, particularly against the Ansariyeh Mountains further west.

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    Southern Cardo Maximus

    by MM212 Updated Sep 21, 2007

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    Southern Cardo Maximus, Dec 2006
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    South of the decumanus maximus, now the modern paved road, lies the southern section of the cardo maximus. This part was the last of the colonnades to be constructed, closer to 166 AD, and terminated at the Gate of Emesa which no longer exists. Some of the columns have been re-erected, though appear less impressive than the middle and northern sections of the cardo. Along the sides, there are remains of two Byzantine-period churches, one of which had a circular form.

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    The Lone Votive Column

    by MM212 Written Sep 20, 2007

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    Lone Column
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    A lone 14 metre votive column stands in the middle of the northern section of the cardo maximus. This lone column marked an important intersection with a perpindicular street. The cardo maximus contained another similar column further south, though only the base is currently visible.

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    The Tycheion (Temple of the Tyche)

    by MM212 Updated Sep 20, 2007

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    The ruined fa��ade of the Tycheion

    The most significant temple in Apamea, the Tycheion, was built at the centre of the cardo maximus. The distinguished location was marked by Apamea's celebrated twisted fluted columns, which were erected opposite the multi-columned entrance of the temple. The Tyche, goddess of luck, was equated with the Roman Fortuna and considered the most important in Apamea. Unfortunately, the Tycheion has not been reconstructed by archeologists, so it is hard to discern the structure. All that is seen is a pile of stones and a few half standing columns.

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    Thermae Agrippa (Baths of Julius Agrippa)

    by MM212 Updated Sep 20, 2007

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    Agrippa Thermae (Dec 2006)
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    Thermae Agrippa (Baths of Julius Agrippa) were constructed in 116 AD and are located east of the cardo maximus, a little north of the Propylaeum. The main edifice is still standing with its arched entrance and windows. There are two other baths in Apamea, one by Antioch Gate and the other also east of the cardo maximus about opposite the Agora and the Tycheion.

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    Shops along the cardo

    by MM212 Updated Sep 20, 2007

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    Shops along the cardo
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    The shaded arcades, behind the length of the columns of the cardo maximus, were lined with shops, palaces and temples. The shops were two-floored and contained carved entrances and windows. Some of these façades have been reconstructed and can be seen in sections of the cardo. Attached are photos of some of these shops.

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    Antioch Gate

    by MM212 Updated Sep 18, 2007

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    Antioch Gate (Mar 2008)
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    Those arriving in Apamea from the north would have had to enter the city through the Antioch Gate. The road beyond the gate leads north to the city of Antioch, which is now in modern Turkey. The arched gateway dates from the Byzantine period and used to sit between two towers on either side. These towers have been reduced to a mound of collapsed stones, though the arch of the gate has survived.

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    Portico

    by iwys Updated Apr 17, 2007

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    About half-way up the cardo maximus from the ticket office, you will se an impressive second century portico on your right. It stands out from the colonnade and is crowned by a triangular pediment, decorated with carvings. This would have been the entrance to one of the city's great public buildings.

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    Roman Villa

    by iwys Updated Apr 17, 2007

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    If you follow the line of the decumanus along the modern road for about 400 metres to the east, you will see, on your left, a grand Roman villa complex, with 26 columns standing in its courtyard, behind a grand doorway. This must once have been the home of some of the city's leading citizens.

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    Theatre

    by iwys Updated Apr 17, 2007

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    The theatre is probably the first part of the ruins you will see. As you climb up the hill from the modern town, it is on your right. It was built in the 2nd century AD, when the city had a population of half a million, and it was the biggest theatre in the eastern Roman Empire. Its stage measured 139m and was, therefore, the world's largest. The main entrance doorway and a stone passageway are still standing, but many of the rows of seats in the cavea have been destroyed for use as building stones in the citadel. With a little bit of imagination, you can still envisage how grand it must once have looked.

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    Cardo Maximus

    by iwys Updated Apr 17, 2007

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    At 2km, the main north-south street of Palmyra, the cardo maximus, is even longer than the one in Palmyra. Much of the original paving and a large number of the columns which line the street have survived since the 2nd century AD.

    The modern approach road to the ruins, follows the line of the old decumanus and, therefore, cuts across the cardo. The ticket office for the ruins is at the intersection. The northern section of the cardo is well-preserved, but the section on the southern side of the road is mainly just rubble.

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    Temple of Zeus

    by iwys Written Sep 24, 2006

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    I spent ages trying to locate the Temple of Zeus, as all that remains of it is a small mound where it once stood. The temple was destroyed by order of Bishop Marcellus in 384 AD. It is just to the west of the agora.

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    Cathedral

    by iwys Written Sep 24, 2006

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    At the eastern end of the decumanus, now followed by the modern road, you can see, opposite the Roman villa, the ruins of a great Byzantine cathedral. Many of the mosaics in the museum were taken from here. It was once an important pilgrimage centre, as it housed part of the original crucifixion cross. Sadly, it is now just a jumble of stones and column bases.

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    Antioch Gate

    by iwys Written Sep 24, 2006

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    At the northern end of the cardo maximus stands the Antioch gate, which was one of the main entrances to the walled city. It is so-named because the road from there led northwards to Antioch (now modern Hatay, just inside Turkey).

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    Apamea

    by crazyman2 Written Aug 19, 2006

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    apamea
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    A huge city, now just a ruin, in the middle of nowhere! There was a time, we were told, that it was larger than Rome, larger than Antioch! There were 500,000 people there once. On the day of our visit there were about 12 of us ---plus some archaeology students in the ticket office/toilets/cafe.
    The pillars are interesting: look at the spiralling.
    As with so many parts of Syria, it is best to have a guide and a good camera!

    Oh! If it's raining....there is a 'stall' near to the parking area that sells umbrellas.

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Apamea Things to Do

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