Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Rock that was the Pillar of Saint Simeon!


1904 (local time)

Like I said in the previous post, today we went to Qala’at Samaan. Now, its not the ruins that make this such a cool place, but it is the story behind it. The reason why Qala’at Samaan is what it is today is because of the story, right ill summarise the Lonely Planet version of it. The structure takes place because of a person called Simeon. Simeon was the son of a Sheppard who at a young age opted to have a life in a monastery. After finding out that monastic life unrewarding he retreated into a cave in the hills. Anyway, word got around that a strange individual has gone to life in the hills by himself, so people went to look for him to receive his blessing. Simeon didn’t want anything to do with people, so he erected a 3 metre high pillar in which he took residence, so people couldn’t touch him. Anyway all of a sudden a man that was 4 foot high was able to touch him so he had a fight to the death... no that last bit didn’t happen, but it would have been cool.

Anyway, legend has it that his tolerance for people decreased so much that he ended up constructing a 18 metre high pillar in which he spent 40 years up there. There was a railing with a chain around the top to stop old mate Simeon from having a bad dream and rolling off the edge.

Simeon would daily preach to the people below. Simeon eccentric behaviour eventually drew people from France and England to see this man.

When he died he was supposably the most famous person in the 5th century world. Now all that is left is a small rock like pillar because pilgrims have chipped away at the rock so they have a souvenir of Simeon.

Pretty interesting story for some ruins that, really aren't that interesting. When we got back to the city, myself and Kate did some shopping in the Souq and tonight we are celebrating Amelia’s 31st birthday! Finally some beers will be had again!

Until next time!

The Fig Signs out!

This pillar used to be 18metres high!

What was the pillar!

The lonely planet shot of the pillar!

Kate just having a moment reading! On a clear day you can see Turkey in the background!

Also having a moment!

Touching what was the pillar of Saint Simeon!

Great self timed shot!

All the cameras lined up ready to take some shots!

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