"Ma'arat an-Nu'aman" Ma`arrat an Nu`man by triplehelix

Ma`arrat an Nu`man Travel Guide: 2 reviews and 11 photos

Gruesome History

Ma'art an-Nu'aman is just a small market town south of Aleppo and east of the Dead Cities. If you find yourself enroute to Apamea, Serjilla, or Al-Bara, this makes a good rest stop.

On December 12, 1098 a horrible event took place that rivals the story of the Donner Party. Under command by Raymond of Toulouse, the Crusader army sacked the town in search of rations. Starving and in dire straights, they fiercely slaughtered thousands of civilians boiling pagan adults in large pots and impaling children who were later eaten grilled. The sustainance they sought were not available in the town thus they resorted to cannibalism.

Mosaic Museum

The only thing of interest here is the Mosaic Museum. If you've been to Madaba in Jordan and like mosaics, this is the place to be. The mosaics here are far superior in comparison to any found in Madaba except for the one at St. Georges Church. Most of the mosaics were taken from the ancient Byzantine towns now refered to as the Dead Cities. Photography is prohibited indoors and lights are kept off to preserve the images. A guide follows you around to make sure you aren't taking any. I managed to sneak a couple in while the guide was away.

Also showcased are artifacts from the 5th and 6th century and post Byzantine eras.

Great Mosque and Townsfolk

Another less celebrated attraction is the Great Mosque across of the museum. The 12th century structure was rebuilt after a great earthquake struck the area and toppled the minaret.

The townsfolk seem very friendly and welcoming. The goat-cheese pastry from a nearby bakery was the best I've ever tasted!

  • Last visit to Ma`arrat an Nu`man: Nov 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Ma`arrat an Nu`man Travel Guide


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