The road to Zar Zita approaches from the east through a rocky shallow valley that on the south side abuts the northern edge of Jebel Sheikh Barakat. Here the limestone has been carved for use as a series of hypogea and funerary reliefs that date from approximately the first century BCE until the second century CE.
Qal'at Seman is the site where Simeon Stylites the Elder stood on a pillar for 36 years. The hill is located to the north of Jebel Sheikh Barakat and the monumental complex was constructed on the orders of the Emperor after Simeon died in 459. It was one of the biggest churches in the world at the time it was built.
Dayr Tell Ada stands on the southern slopes of Jebel Sheikh Barakat (the Mountain of the Old Man of Blessings) and plays a large role in the history of the Syrian Orthodox Church. It was mentioned by Theodoret and other chroniclers as the place where Simeon Stylites began his monastic career, before being expelled for the extreme feats of mortification that he insisted on undertaking. It was a 'dual house' for both Syriac and Greek speakers and had two abbots - one for each language - at the time of Theodoret.
It later became the home of St Jacob of Edessa, who died at Tell Ada in 708 having returned to pack up his fabled library when he moved home to Edessa.
Tags: Architecture, Dayr Tell Ada, Edessa, Greek, Jebel Seman, Jebel Sheikh Barakat, Library, Limestone Massif, Monastery, Simeon Stylites, St. Jacob of Edessa, Syria, Syriac, Theodoret