Ermak Travel Guide


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Shmemis (قلعة شميميس‎)





Location: 30 km South-east of Hama   Map

Found: 1st century BC by Arab dynasty of Sempsigerami




Description of Shmemis


Shmemis or ash- Shmemis is a ruined ancient fortress situated 30 km South-east of Hama and 5 km North- west of Salamiyah in Syria. Shmemis was constructed in the 1st century BC by Sampsiceramus I, the first Priest King of the Royal family of Emesa that is also known as the Sampsiceramids. Although first settlement on this location was first established during Bronze Age in 14th century BC. A site for Shmemis was chosen on a site of an extinct volcano. It was captured and demolished by the Persian king Khosrau in 613 AD. Citadel defensive walls and towers were further damaged by an earthquake of 1157. It was reconstructed in 1229 by Assad ud- Din Shirkoh, an Ayyubid governor of Homs to defend against the Crusaders, but new Shmemis stronghold didn't last too long. It was demolished by the Mongols in 1260 and again in 1401 by Mongol tribe of Tatars. Shmemis was partially reconstructed by Baybars I (Sultan of Mamluks) in 1260 after the invasions died out. It is not entirely known how long did Shmemis castle retained its military function. Today it is mostly abandoned and ruined due to natural erosion.










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