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Deir Semaan - Syria - Monasteries for pilgims to St. Simeon

Originally Telanissos (Mountain of women) was an agricultural settlement. Then a monastery was founded here. In 412 AD the ascetic who would become St. Simeon Stylites joined the monastery. He later moved uphill and started living on a small platform on a pillar there. From 425 pilgrims would come to see him, and after his death in 459 Deir Semaan became a major centre of pilgrimage under imperial patronage. Although now we visit the St. Simeon Stylites Basilica from an easy access point just some ten, fifteen meters below the level of the basilica, in olden times a visit to the basilica would start with a strenuous walk over the Via Sacra, up the basilica hill.

I did not visit the whole area, partly because I was tired after two hours of intensive picture taking at St. Simeon. However, the start of the Via Sacra is there, as are some shots of important buildings and there is a visit to the large pandocheion, the major accommodation for pilgrims.
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