Located close and on the way to Serjilla, Al-Barah is said to be another large and extensive 'dead city'. It contains numerous mansions, churches and a monastery, spread across a large area and built among olive groves and orchards. One of its highlights is the existence of pyramidal tombs and also the fact that archeologists believe the landscape looks more similar to what it might have been when the towns where inhabited than does Serjilla, which is now over barren lands. Due to a shortage of time, my travel companions and I chose to limit our stop to Serjilla. However, while driving past al-Barah, I was able to take the two attached photographs. The architecture is definitely similar to Serjilla, but al-Barah seems to be heavily wooded, with olive and fruit trees growing among the ruins.
The landscape around Serjilla is very striking... almost moon-like. It is made up essentially of white/grey rocks. These rocks are the same ones that were used in the construction of many of the dead cities. It is said that when the dead cities were inhabited, the land around Serjilla was much more fertile, but soil erosion over time led to the exposure of the underlying rocks. See the attached photos.
On the way to Serjilla, as one turns off the main road, along the final stretch which ends in Serjilla itself, is another small 'dead city' called Boudeh. It is located roughly half way between Al-Barah and Serjilla. Boudeh is made up of only a small number of houses and my guidebook says it has the ruins of a pyramidal tomb. We did not stop in this village for a visit, but I managed to take the attached photo from the car.