Apamea Travel Guide

  • Apamea
    by lotharscheer
  • Apamea
    by lotharscheer
  • Apamea
    by lotharscheer

Apamea Things to Do

  • Ottoman Mosque

    The Ottoman-period mosque was built in the 16th century using stones from the Roman ruins of Apamea. It is located at the foothill of the citadel mound, just above the Khan, and was used by the pilgrims staying at the caravanserai on their way to Mecca.IMPORTANT UPDATE: In March 2012, this mosque was damaged in the shelling by the Syrian...

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  • The Apamea Museum

    The Apamea museum is housed in an Ottoman khan (caravanserai) located in the town below Apamea. The khan was built in the 16th century, with stones from the ruins of Apamea, and was used as a resting stop for pilgrims travelling from Turkey to Mecca. On my first visit to Apamea in December 2006, my travel companions and I were pressed for time so...

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  • Qala'at al-Mudiq

    The Apamea Citadel, or Qala'at al-Mudiq in Arabic, occupies the top of a hill overlooking al-Ghab valley and the ruins of Apamea. This natural hill rises from the ground like a volcano, much like the one on which Aleppo's citadel was built. In antiquity, this hill was site of the Greek Acropolis of Apamea, but over time, its strategic position was...

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  • Apamea's Spiral Fluting Columns

    Apamea's cardo maximus is most celebrated for its spiral fluting columns. Although a handful can still be seen in Rome itself, these famous columns are otherwise unique to Apamea in the Graeco-Roman world, and are found only in the middle section of the Cardo Maximus, to mark the location of the important Tycheion (Temple of the Tyche). The spirals...

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  • The Agora

    Rebuilt after the earthquake of 115 AD, the Agora, or the Forum, of Apamea was one of the city's principal squares. It is located west of the Cardo Maximus, near the middle section of the colonnade where the famous fluted columns are standing. It was a long and relatively narrow square, surrounded by colonnaded porticos, set parallel to the Cardo...

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  • The Cardo Maximus

    Apamea's legendary cardo maximus is the longest and most beautiful colonnaded avenue of Antiquity. This north-south axis extends 1.85 km and was once bordered by 1200 columns, of which only 400 have been re-erected thanks to the work of Belgian archaeologists in the past century. Work to construct the Cardo was undertaken by the Romans immediately...

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  • The Roman Theatre

    Located just south of the eastern side of the main Decumanus (now a modern paved road), the Theatre of Apamea was once the largest in the Roman world. It was built in the 2nd century AD against the sloping hill and its diameter measured 139 metres, much larger than the famous Roman Theatre of Bosra. Unfortunately, the grandeur of Apamea's Theatre...

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  • Bacchus

    Halfway up the Cardo Maximus, in the area void of ruins, the base of the pillar in the attached photo remains standing. The carvings on the pillar depict the legend of Bacchus (see photo).

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  • The Propylaeum

    This beautiful Propylaeum rises from within the rows of columns in the northern section of the cardo maximus. The purpose of the Propylaeum is uncertain but is thought to have marked the entrance to an important palace or temple.

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  • Mosaic museum

    This mosaic museum is very good. Building is from 16. cc caravanserai but the museum is working since 1982. There are Greek,Roman and Helenistic mosaics.

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  • Museum

    Apamea's museum is housed in a 16th century khan. It contains an impressive collection of Byzantine mosaics removed from the floors of the city's buildings, including the cathedral. There are also stone sarcophagi and funerary stelae.Its opening hours are slightly eccentric. But, there is always a guard inside. If you shout and hammer on the door...

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  • Roman Villas

    Just north of the east side of the Decumanus (the modern paved road) is a group of Roman Villas. The three villas, known as the House of the Consoles, House of the Pilasters, and House of Graffiti, were excavated and partially reconstructed in the 1970s. The most intact is the middle one, House of the Consoles, with a reconstructed facade and...

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  • Recent Excavations

    A little to the south of the Cistern is what seems to be recently excavated structures. It looks as though they might have been residences, complete with multiple chambers and a staircase. Clearly this is an example of how much more lies beneath the grassy fields on either side of the Colonnade, awaiting further excavation.

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  • The Cistern

    Located just south-east of the Gate of Antioch are the remains of the Cistern - a water storage structure for the city of Apamea. Water was then distributed to the entire city through a complex network of water pipes. Some of these clay water pipes can be seen in the area between the Gate of Antioch and the Cistern (see attached photos). The...

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  • Apamea's City Walls

    The city of Apamea covers an area larger than that of intra-mural Old Damascus. Much like Damascus, Apamea was protected by a city wall that circled the city. The northern and western sections of this wall are very well preserved and still show the square bastions that enforced the structures. About seven monumental gateways served as entry points...

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  • The Nymphaeum

    Located east of the Cardo Maximus, just north of the ticket booth, are the ruins of a Nymphaeum. It was a public water fountain within an exedra decorated with statues, though none of the statues remain onsite.

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  • Ansariyeh Mountains

    Rising 1500 metres, Ansariyeh Mountains are the northern extension of the Lebanon Mountain chain. They rise like a wall blocking inner Syria from the Mediterranean and form a beautiful backdrop to the fertile Orontes Valley. Apamea is graced with an unobstructed view of the mountains from the ruins. These mountains are known for the legendary...

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  • Al-Ghab Valley

    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...

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  • Southern Cardo Maximus

    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...

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  • The Lone Votive Column

    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)

    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...

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Apamea Transportation

  • Getting to Apamea

    Apamea is located an hour north-west of the city of Hama, and about 2 hours south-west of Aleppo. It is best reached by private car, so whether one is staying in Aleppo or Hama, one must ask the hotel to arrange for a car and a driver. From either direction, the road is filled with other historic sights and ruins, so one could fill an entire day...

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  • Microbus

    Apamea can be reached by microbus. I took a bus from Aleppo to Hama, which cost S£85 (There are also frequent buses from Damascus to Hama). Then I took a taxi to Hama's microbus station, which is on Sharia Salah-uh-din, about a 15-minute walk to the south-west of the city. From there I took a microbus to As Qeilibiya, which cost S£45 and took about...

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  • Apamea Hotels

    0 Hotels in Apamea

Apamea Local Customs

  • MM212's Profile Photo
    Local Sheep Grazing (Dec 2006) 4 more images

    by MM212 Written Oct 9, 2007

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    Part of the magic of Apamea is its rural setting among farms and grazing sheep. Much of the ancient city is still buried under these farms and pastures. Attached are photos of the surroundings.

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Apamea Warnings and Dangers

  • MM212's Profile Photo
    Antique, Antique!

    by MM212 Written Sep 20, 2007

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    These lovely locals on motorcycles wait all day for the few tourists to arrive. They are sure to approach each one of them yelling: "Antique, antique!" while stretching out a hand to show the supposedly authentic Roman coins found in Apamea. Shukran, but no thanks!

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Apamea Off The Beaten Path

  • Mardouk castle

    This castle is very nice from far. But you can't see inside of it because the people doesn't want. We heard that they are throwing stones to tourists....

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  • Chariot ruts in the street

    Well, actually I suppose this is very much a beaten path tip. If you look down at the paving stones along the cardo maximus, you can still see the ruts worn by the wheels of chariots way back in the 2nd century AD. Another place where I have seen these is the Roman city of Jerash in Jordan. You won't see these grooves in Palmyra, however, as the...

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  • Stone reliefs of Bacchus

    If you don't go walk a little off the beaten path, you will miss one of the highlights of Apamea: the stone reliefs of Bacchus. You need to clamber down to the right of the cardo maximus, about half-way up from the ticket office.You will see three big stone slabs - two at the base and one standing on top. Two of these slabs have carvings on them,...

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Apamea Favorites

  • Mosaics

    Many of the mosaics taken from the floors of Palmyra's buildings are on display in the museum. As this a fertile area, with a lot of wildlife, many of them depict animals and birds. Don't feel too bad about them being removed from their original locations. If they are exposed to the sun for too long, their colours become bleached out, and they...

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  • The Valley Around Apamea...

    If you have your own car or maybe asking somebody to drive for you, the valley around Apamea or rather around hamah is breath taking...We pass through some lush valleys with green vegetations along the way especially from Hamah to Apamea...MORE PHOTOS...

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  • The entablatures

    The entablatures which were re-erected resembles the way used to avoid monotony in building the Cardo Maximus along with building many porticoes throughout its length at the two sides of this way .Theses entablatures demonstrate various decorations and shapes curved on them , this photo shows some decorations , can you guess what are curved on them...

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Explore Deeper into Apamea
Thermae Agrippa (Baths of Julius Agrippa)
Things to Do
Shops along the cardo
Things to Do
Antioch Gate
Things to Do
Portico
Things to Do
Votive Column
Things to Do
Roman Villa
Things to Do
Theatre
Things to Do
Cardo Maximus
Things to Do
Temple of Zeus
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Cathedral
Things to Do
Agora
Things to Do
Fluted columns
Off The Beaten Path
Citadel
Things to Do
Antioch Gate
Things to Do
Apamea
Things to Do
Twisted Fluting Columns
Things to Do
Sellers of precious of Apamea
Things to Do
The triclinium and the cathedral
Things to Do
The town centre
Things to Do
The Antioch gate
Things to Do
The columns and the colonnade
Favorites
A heaven for archeology lovers
Favorites
The Cardo Maximus
Things to Do
Map of Apamea

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