Having a bit of a soft spot for HDRphotography, this gorgeous photograph by rinogas of the Church of St. Simeon Stylites near Aleppo, Syria immediately caught my eye. The subtle and soft glow on the remains of the structure, combined with the wispy white clouds and contrasting greys of the sky creates a perfect picture of this well preserved heritage site.
Built in honour of St. Simeon Stylites, a secluded monk, the Church was consecrated in 475AD covering a staggering 5,000 square metre of floor space, almost matching that of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.Located over 60 kilometres away from the nearest city on the top of a hill, the site includes the Church of St. Simeon Stylite, two smaller churches, a monastery and several large hostels.
At the centre of the courtyard within the complex is St. Simeon Styliyes’ column where he relocated to from a cave, in order to reach new levels of seclusion. The column eventually reached 15 metres high, and crowds would travel to the site to hear his preachings. He stayed on his column for 37 years before he died, and was ceremoniously buried, with his grave site and column becoming destinations of pilgrimage.
The column today stands at just 2 metres tall, after centuries of relic-gatherers at the site. The site in general though is still in a good condition considering it’s age, and the stunning quality of this church is evident in rinogas’ outstanding capture!