These images of Palmyra were taken in the summer of 1962. The tourist infrastructure was less developed at this time and the images also show evidence of intrusive levels of renovation that had mellowed or been replaced by the later half of the C20th. For details relating to each image separately in this item please refer to the inventory appended to this collection.
A large late antique monastery built on top of a pagan temple to the sun. Deyr ul Zafaran is a Syrian orthodox monastery and is a major tourist draw in the region. It has been heavily restored and had unsympathetic additions made to it to attract and help facilitate more tourism and generate more income.
This temple marks the end of the decumanus and is besides the C3rd area of the city known as 'Diocletian's Camp at the western end of the settlement.
The Temple of Baalshamin dates from the early C1st and was extended during Hadrian's reign in the C2nd. Until its destruction by IS on August 24th 2015, the cella of the temple was perfectly preserved although the surrounding enclosure did not survive so completely. It was the second most significant sanctuary in Palmyra after the Temple of Bel and was much smaller than its more famous neighbour, being located to north of the Roman era town.
As with a number of other cult sites in Dura Europos, the Temple of Bel was identified primarily by its frescoes which are now displayed in the National Museum of Damascus.
The Temple of Bel as it appears today dates from the C1st-C2nd AD, but stands on a much older cult site near the date palm grove and Eqfa spring that enabled the foundation of a city in the middle of the Syrian desert. Later on the cella of the temple was adapted for use as a Christian church and faint traces of frescoes are still visible on the interior walls. It was also fortified in the middle ages and there was a village within the walls of the compound until the population was removed by the French authorities during their rule of Syria in the 1920s.
Begun in the 1st century the construction of the Temple of Aphrodite was paid for by Aphrodisias’ most famous and wealthy citizen, Zoilos. In the 2nd century AD the temple had a colonnaded courtyard enclosure built around it. Around 500 AD the temple was converted into a Basilica church and was extensively rebuilt and remodelled into a building much larger than the original temple.
The Serapeum was a vast temple and associated complex built at the foot of the acropolis of Pergamum during the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. The temple was dedicated to the worship of the Greaco-Egyptian god Serapis and to the Egyptian goddess Isis. The temple complex was huge and had to cross the nearby Selinus river supported by two very large vaulted tunnels which channel the waters to this day. The majority of the courtyard lies under the modern town buildings to the west of the temple. Originally covered with marble facings only the red brick superstructure of the temple remains. During the late Roman/early Byzantine period a church dedicated to St John was built inside the main temple. The church is in poor preservation when compared to the surrounding temple. However due to the instability of the remaining structure of the temple it is not possible to enter it and view the church remains. The temple is flanked by two contempraneous rotunda, one of which is a functioning mosque while the other is open to the general public.
Burj Baqirha is the local name given to a C2nd Roman temple that survives on the hill above the settlement of that name overlooking the Syrian-Turkish border.
The temple believed to have been dedicated to Mercury also possesses imagery linked to Bacchus, in addition to the presence of symbols such as the caduceus belonging Mercury. This has led to the temple being referred to in conjunction with both deities.