Temple of Baal Shamin
Palmyra, Syria
The temple of Baal Shamin is situated 200 m to the north of Palmyra's tetrakionion and the great colonnade. It was constructed in 131 CE and was built of ashlar, on a stone platform that forms a low step above the surface of the courtyard. The entrance portico on the eastern face had 6 columns, each 7.8 m high and mounted on Attic bases and topped with Corinthian capitals. Each of the other exterior walls were decorated with flat pilasters, also with Attic bases and Corinthian capitals. The interior of the temple consisted of one hall, the naos, later used as a church.

The temple was situated in a long, semi-rectangular-shaped sanctuary. Construction of the sanctuary began in the 1st century CE, prior to that of the temple. The sanctuary was divided into three courtyards of various sizes arranged along a north-south axis, with the main doorway in the southern wall of the south courtyard. The maximum length of the sanctuary was 163 m and the maximum width was 58 m.

The sanctuary and the temple were surveyed by a German expedition active in Palmyra at the beginning of the 20th century. The German researchers focused on the temple, which was in an excellent state of preservation, though the pediments and roof had not survived. A Swiss expedition in the 1960s exposed the temple and sanctuary completely and reconstructed parts of it.

The Association for the Protection of Syrian Archaeology reported the temple destroyed in August 2015.


"Palmyra." In The Grove Encyclopedia of Classical Art and Architecture, edited by Campbell, Gordon. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.

Segal, Arthur. Temples and Sanctuaries in the Roman East, 95-99. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2013.
Palmyra, Syria
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131 CE
destroyed 2015
Style Periods
10.8 x 17.2 m
Variant Names
Temple of Baalshamin
Temple and Sanctuary of Baal Shamin
Building Usages