Butler Diary: Northern and Central Syria II, 1899

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4. [Bakirha] November 6 & 7.

On this site, just below the temple described above, is the ruin of a large town, built on a series of high terraces - the hill here slopes steeply toward the valley and the buildings are piled one above the other giving a very fine and lofty effect from below.

The two chief buildings are the church, a fine large structure of the sixth century, and a somewhat complicated structure, part of which seems to have been a religious building. Besides these is a large variety a ? buildings of various dimensions and in different styles, rough polygonal, megalithic and quadruled, with varying amounts of sculpted ornament.

Church. 546 A.D.: the church is situated near the top metroon and well to the east. It measures 50 feet by 92 ft. overall, and is planned with sp.? Eastward and narthex to the west. The east end, apse and chapels, and the west wall with the colonnde of the porch are well preserved.

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Detail of window moulding. Cornice.

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5.

but the lateral walls and interior arcades have all fallen.

Apse

The apse measures 22 ft. 10 in wide and 13 ft. deep. The arch of the apse has fallen; but the pilaster, with well carved capital which supported it on the north? and that which supported the first arch of the nave on the same side are still in place.

The decoration of the east end is quite simple, a moulding now above the level of the window sills and another is carved once each ? together? window ending in a spiral volute. The windows are 22 in. d. and 4 ft. 5 high. The corince now on a level across the end of the end walls? of the aisles then staged? up like gates where it is carved ? across the apse.

Façade

The best wall is preserved quite intact with its finely decorated portal and ? of windows above it. The central windows near? the main frontal is much of the largest church window we have seen and it is truely ? on the exterior all the windows are moulded. The main frontal* is particularly fine. ? *see photos

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