Resafa (الرصافة‎‎) aka Sergiopolis


Resafa also known as Sergiopolis is an archaeological site in Ar-Raqqah Governorate of Syria. It holds remains from the ancient times and early medieval times. The city of Resafa was originally found in the 9th century BC.




Location: Ar-Raqqah Governorate   Map

Found: 9th century BC


History of Resafa

Resafa was originally found in the 9th century BC as an administrative center and a military frontier campsite of the Assyrian Empire. Assyrians called their city Rasappa. Resafa is also mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible in Isaiah 37:12 and II Kings 19:12. However Resafa reached true grandeur during rule of the Ancient Roman Empire when it became part of the Roman province of Euphratensis.


Basilica of Saint Sergius in Resafa

Basilica of Saint Sergius was dedicated  to Saint Sergius, a Christian Roman soldier who was martyred by the Roman officials for belonging to a Christian faith. It occurred in 312 during the Diocletianic Persecutions. Just two years later Emperor Constantine legalize Christianity and a grave of the saint was preserved. During a Byzantine period a church was erected here and the city itself was renamed Sergiopolis or "city of Sergius" in Greek.


Resafa Cisterns

Resafa has no natural sources of water other than rainy season that hits this region in late winter and early spring months of the year. Residents of the city constructed large cisterns to capture water that fell from the sky and store it for the whole upcoming year. Ancient people first dug a huge underground caverns underneath the city, then they secured the structure by constructing stone pillars, columns and arches. Finally they plastered its walls so the water would not spoil or seep through cracks.