I also got myself captured by guerrilla fighters in the foothills and found a lost city. But we’ll save those stories for future posts. The summit and its ruins and artifacts are amazing enough on their own, and some of the photos here and in future blogs are the first ever taken of their respective ruins or artifacts.
This feature is at the summit of Mt. Cudi. It may be the remains of the Synagogue of Ezra, which stood atop the mountain through at least 1170 AD (when Benjamin of Tudela passed through), or of the church associated with the Cloister of the Ark, a monastery that was struck by lightning in 776 AD and burned down along with its unfortunate inhabitants. In antiquity, this mountain was the only place that people of all religions made peace and worshipped together, including Christians, Jews, Muslims (Sunni and Shia), Yezidis . . . , sort of the religious equivalent of the Olympics.
An intriguing hole in the ground near the summit:
Descending into the hole and finding a hidden, arched subterranean chamber:
Similar subterranean chambers having long ago collapsed?
This is enough for now. The Noah’s Ark remains that made this mountain so famous and sacred for so many centuries deserve their own separate post.