Deir al-Salib

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Deir al-Salib
دير الصليب
Deir al-Sleib
Deir al-Salib is located in Syria
Deir al-Salib
Deir al-Salib
Location in Syria
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Country  Syria
Governorate Hama
District Masyaf
Subdistrict Masyaf
Population (2004)
 • Total 2,946
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)

Deir al-Salib (Arabic: دير الصليب‎‎, also spelled Deir al-Sleib or Deir al-Suleib) is a village in northern Syria, administratively part of the Hama Governorate, located 37 kilometers west of Hama. Nearby localities include Billin to the southeast, al-Rabiaa to the east, Asilah to the northeast, Jubb Ramlah to the north, al-Laqbah and Deir Mama to the northwest, Masyaf to the west, al-Suwaydah to the southwest and Baarin and Aqrab to the south. According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics, Deir al-Salib had a population of 2,946 in the 2004 census.[1] Its inhabitants are predominantly Alawites and Greek Orthodox Christians.[2]


In the early 19th-century the Ottoman governor of Damascus, Abdullah Pasha al-Azm, granted the leaseholds of Deir al-Salib and its satellite farms to a close associate of his, Muhammad Gharib Bey al-Azm.[3]

Byzantine church

Just outside Deir al-Salib is a 5th-6th century Byzantine-era church surrounded by fig trees.[4] It is built in the architectural style typical of the Justinian period in Syria, with its two chapels.[5] Its stone walls have a beige and ochre color. At the right of the entrance is a baptistery which still contains a cross-shaped baptismal. The narthex of the church is preceded by a central atrium and five columns demarcate its aisles. The apse is semi-circular and on the ground floor stands a gallery reserved for women. A small mausoleum containing three sarcophagi is situated at the side of the baptistery. The sarcophagi had engraved medallions that fitted crosses.[4]


  1. General Census of Population and Housing 2004. Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). Hama Governorate. (Arabic)
  2. Smith, 1841, p. 180.
  3. Douwes, 2000, p. 170.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Michelin, 2011, p. 216.
  5. Association internationale pour l'étude de la mosaïque antique, Association for the Study and Preservation of Roman Mosaics, Betty Morgan May Memorial Fund (1995). "Fifth International Colloquium on Ancient Mosaics: Held at Bath, England on September 5-12, 1987". Journal of Roman Archaeology. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>