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This mountain area, situated in the Governorate of Aleppo, covers an area of approximately 50x30 Km2, stretching from Qatma in the North to the valley of the ‘Afrin River in the East. Two archaeological parks are situated within this area:
St. Simeon Citadel and Village:
The first proposed Park includes major archaeological remains from Roman and Byzantine periods and notably the sites of: St. Simeon church and village, Sit al-Rum and Refadeh and Sheikh Barakat.
The Church of St. Simeon, built in 490 CE, was one of the largest and most important churches in the world in late antiquity. In the 10 th century, fortifications were built around it and hence known as "Qala" or castle. Pilgrims from afar came here to hear St Simeon the Stylite's preaches and the site became the destination of a mass pilgrimage. The ruins of the main Church occupy some 5000 m2, while the baptistery and its annexes cover 2000 more m2.
The Village of St. Simeon, located on the western slope of Simeon's castle to the north of the plain of Qatoura, started as a small agricultural village, to develop into a town in order to accommodate the multitudes of pilgrims visiting the church. The ruins cover an area of 250x150 m.
The ruins of the deserted village of Refadeh, and of the small church of Sit al-Rum, lay on a hill in front of Saint Simeon citadel. Most of the houses are fairly well preserved still keeping the porticos overlooking the interior courtyards.
The highest peak in the area is mount Sheikh Barakat. It rises to an elevation of 876 m above sea level. The temple of Sheikh Barakat, at the summit of the mountain dates from the first century A.D.
Part or or all of this text stems from the original article at: http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5115/