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“Why did they leave?”

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
207 reviews
107 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 203 helpful votes
“Why did they leave?”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 July 2012

THis site is eerie in that the whole population up and left without leaving clues at to why. THey church and the baths are well preserved as are a few houses, one even has a arch inside showing how they built second floors.

Some of the theories about why they left are economic, religious or drought as the villiage was an olive oil producer. Nearby are pyramidical tombs and other viliages left empty which provide good fodder for stories but no facts.

To get here you need a car or be on a tour as public transport does not come here.

Visited January 2012
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3 Thank tumbuna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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15 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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  • Any
English first
Faro, Portugal
Level Contributor
69 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“A place to hear the ghosts telling stories”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 November 2011

I love abandoned places and Serjilla was one of the most amazing of the kind I visited. The misty weather definitely helped, bringing an extra dramatic atmosphere. Also the fact that there was absolutely nobody there was good.

Visited November 2011
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Thank TorgutPt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
147 reviews
79 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 234 helpful votes
“Very Interesting, Worth the Visti”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 April 2011

There are a number of "Dead Cities" in this part of Syria, basically ancient ghost towns. Serjilla is supposed to be the most intact one and my wife and I found it fascinating, very fun to explore on your own. It is has several good informational markers throughout. It "opens" at 9AM but there are no barriers to entry so you can get there for sunrise photos and by the time you are done the staff is there and you can pay them as you leave. And it has some very nice restrooms for such an out of the way place - hey, these things are important :-) Note that it is actually closer to Hama (65KM) than Aleppo (80KM). The nearest main town is Maarat an Numan. If you are going from Aleppo to Hama or vice versa this makes for a good stop.

Visited March 2011
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Thank Flat_Planet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
45 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“What happened?”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 May 2010

It's further than I expected the drive from Aleppo to Serjilla, but if you take the right route you'll be treated to a snaking piece of black top through some nicely undulating olive and fruit orchards, connecting up a series of these Dead Cities.

It's fastenating to wander through these old settlements and Serjilla is well presented, with multi-lingual information boards scattered around the site informing visitors about what they are looking at. You only need an hour or two to get a good feel for these Dead Cities, so a good half day trip from Aleppo or Hama would suffice.

There's a small entrance fee to enter Serjilla, which may explain why the location is relatively litter free (a pleasant surprise). The Byzantine's were pretty advanced... makes you wonder what happened to civilisation in the interim period.

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1 Thank jonnymaserati
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
118 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 318 helpful votes
“Too cool... a very unique experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 January 2009

The Dead City of Serjilla is just too cool. It's a series of abandoned stone buildings that once comprised an obviously bustling urban center. These days, you can see everything from in-tact buildings to crumbling ones. There are no paintings that I could see, but there were some carvings, intact arches, and two-level houses. I highly recommend a visit.

There's little historical information known about the site (at least that I could find) and there's no information available there. I must admit that I was thus a bit wary about visiting (I mean, really, more old stone stuff in Syria but this time without much known history). But the site won me over through a combination of its size (much larger than I imagined) and its high level of preservation (I envisioned piles of rubble but found tons of still standing buildings). I wandered around for about an hour and had a great time. Like several other things in Syria, I've really never experienced anything quite like this anywhere else in the world.

A note on getting there--I was driving and never found the actual entrance. The way to go is from al-Maara and follow the signs, takes 20-30 minutes at most. When you get to the one that says "Serjilla" (in Arabic letters) and points left (not to a road, but just to a field with stone buildings), that is it. I recommend parking on the side of the road there and walking over to it; I drove on trying to find the official entrance for another half hour, to no avail. If you don't read Arabic, get somebody to write out 'Serjilla' for you in Arabic letters before going so you can recognize the signs--most other places in Syria have English road signs pointing the way, but this one mainly had Arabic.

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3 Thank travellerin30s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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