Free Things to Do in Rif Damascus Governorate

Top Free Things to Do in Rif Damascus Governorate, Syria

Best Free Things to Do in Rif Damascus Governorate

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Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

What travelers are saying

  • rwyhuang
    Toronto, Canada512 contributions
    Magical stay at this monastery atop a mountain overlooking the valley. The monastery is one of community, practicing the unity of religions, and with the war settling, has many visiting religious priests, sisters, etc. There are many rooms to settle, and everyone is involved in set-up of dinner and clean up. This is a place to disconnect- meditate, pray, connect with others and decompress.
    Written September 10, 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • THOMASFROMDAMASCUS
    Damascus, Syria3,332 contributions
    The old village of Maaloula is still one of the only towns in the world that the local inhabitants still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus.
    Maaloula is located northeast of Damascus at an altitude of 1,600 meters or about 5,000 feet under the mountainous region of Qalamoun. The village of Maaloula is isolated and naturally protected, which may largely explain its inhabitants’ continuing adherence to Christianity and the Aramaic language. In Aramaic language Ma’lula means: ‘entrance’ or ‘passage’ and this is well noted as there is a narrow passageway between two steep mountains.
    The majority of the village houses were built on these steep slopes of the two mountains, thus making Maaloula a very picturesque and beautiful village to visit.
    There is a famous Greek Orthodox Convent and a Roman Catholic Monastery up on the top of the hill above the city for anyone to visit.
    Unfortunately the only large hotel has been destroyed during the Syrian Civil conflict. Nevertheless Maaloula is a very interesting town to visit.
    Maaloula also has a nice restaurant for one to enjoy a great lunch or dinner after you complete your touring of this great old city of Maaloula. Trust me you will enjoy yourself while visiting this old and very historic village.
    Written August 2, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • THOMASFROMDAMASCUS
    Damascus, Syria3,332 contributions
    Deir Mar Takla or also called: Saint Thakla’s Convent and Shrine Maaloula is in the old city of Maaloula and a must see religious site.
    According to the legend of St Thecla, Thecla was a girl who belonged to a noble pagan family from Qalamoun. At age 18, Thecla ran away from home. Her father had arranged her marriage to a pagan, but she wanted to be a Christian. In the most common version of her story, Roman soldiers chased her to the third range of Qalamoun. Reaching the vicinity of Ma‘lula, she found the way blocked by a rocky height; yet, the moment she prayed for God's mercy, the barrier was miraculously divided. This miracle allowed her to pass through into the grotto and escape capture and death. Thecla spent the rest of her life there.
    The convent is a Greek Orthodox Convent and named after the famous Saint Thecla. She had lived during the Roman Period and is said to have run away and took refuge in a cave or grotto in the famous city of Maaloula. That cave still has a natural spring and it is said that the holy water cures many health related diseases.
    This convent is a major place of Christian pilgrimage in Syria.
    You enter the convent from a large parking area and you walk up past the old church and room of the current nuns until you reach a stunning and picturesque grotto. There is a small shrine just off of this cave when one can pay tribute to this famous saint.
    The guest quarters within the convent appear to be for rent. We only saw one of the seven sisters of that order and she was simply inside the small shrine helping each person with lighting a candle.
    This is by far the most famous and largest convents in the old city and a must see shrine while you visit the old city of Maaloula.
    Written July 30, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.