Qalb Lozeh, Syria
The church at Qalb Lozeh (in Arabic, Heart of Almond), is one of the most celebrated ecclesiastical monuments in Syria dating back to the second half of 5th century.
It was the first example which realises on a monumental scale the Syrian model of the broad-aisled basilica church. It represents the full development of the Syrian style and anticipates many features which were to find their way eventually to Europe in the Romanesque period (e.g. the dramatic entrance arch and flanking towers).
The church comprises the only ancient remains surviving in this mountain hamlet. Thankfully, much of this structure survives in a remarkable state of preservation at Qalb Lozeh, and even some of the stone roofing slabs of the side aisles are still intact.
By providing the side aisles with a flat roof, the builders of Qalb Lozeh allowed considerably more light to enter the church by the clerestory windows.
The fact that the church was surrounded by a walled compound supports the likelihood that it was intended not to serve a village but to provide a stop for pilgrims, perhaps those bound for the already flourishing pilgrimage center at Deir Semaan.