Top Attractions in As Suwayda Governorate
What travelers are saying
- The oasis settlement now named, Shahba, had been the native hamlet of Philip the Arab. After Philip became the emperor of Rome in 244 CE, he dedicated himself to rebuilding the little community as a colonia. The contemporary community that was replaced with the new construction was so insignificant that one author states that the city can be considered to have been built on virgin soil, making it the last of the Roman cities founded in the East.
The city was renamed Philippopolis in dedication to the emperor. The emperor is said to have wanted to turn his native city into a replica of Rome herself. A hexagonal-style temple and an open-air place of worship of local style, called a kalybe, a triumphal arch, baths, a starkly unornamented theatre faced with basalt blocks, a large structure that has been interpreted as a basilica, and the Philippeion (illustration, right) surrounded by a great wall with ceremonial gates, were laid out and built following the grid plan of a typical Roman city.Written March 21, 2013This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
- I'm originally from Swaida but currently working in UAE.
First of all, there are security concerns nowadays although the city didn't witness any kind of destruction during the more than 5 years conflict at all.
Swaida's population was 300,000 but almost doubled now because of refugees who left their homes in conflict areas and sought refuge here.
Following are some tips for tourists who plan to visit the place once it's safe:
1- The trip from Damascus (100km) takes about 90 minutes.
2- The GPS coordinates of Helios Temple are: 32°45'25.96"N & 36°36'49.27"E.
3- Once you are there, you may want to see other attractive Roman ruins like the Sacrophagus, Basilica, Necropolis and the underground water cisterns. They are only 1000 meters away from Helios. 32°45'15.45"N - 36°37'4.92"E
4- On the way back to Swaida you can visit Swaida's National Museum. You can see many interesting things. Don’t be surprised to see headless Roman statues! Soldiers from countries that occupied Syria used to cut those heads and take them to their countries. Local treasure hunters did that too. The museum's coordinates are: 32°43'16.63"N - 36°34'49.62"E.
5- you can find a couple of hotels in Swaida for your accommodation.
6- People there are friendly and like to help tourists. But if you want to use a cab inside Swaida the fare is about 1 US$ or less wherever you want to go inside the city. But from Swaida to Kanawat the cost will be around 3 US$.
I hope this was helpful.
Cheers,Written September 3, 2016This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
- I'm not much of a museum buff but this stop on the journey from Bosra to Damascus is worth an hour or two in your itinerary. It comprises a number of halls including a large atrium containing mosaics and large, ancient stone sculptures. The curator spoke no English but we managed enough schoolboy French to admire the intricacies of the locking mechanism on a hinged tomb door, which was made from a single slab of stone. Most arresting was the almost complete mosaic of the Birth of Venus. Unlike Botticelli's version in the Uffizi, Venus sits rather than stands in a scallop shell admiring her reflection in a hand mirror whilst the shell is supported above a sea of fish by two crab-horned devils. No photos are allowed so I don't know how this one found its way into my camera. Perhaps the devils?Written September 4, 2009This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.