Salamiyeh (سلمية) is a predominantly Ismaili town located about forty kilometers east of Hama (حماة). The town has had a long history dating back to Roman times, and while there isn’t much evidence of it today, it is worth spending some time to see what Salamiyeh (سلمية) has to offer.
The most interesting site in the city is the mosque and tomb of Imam Ismael, which was built using black basalt apparently recycled from an earlier Byzantine construction. The mosque is located a bit to the southeast of the city center, and is a place of pilgrimage for many Ismailis. Look for the fairly obvious black and white minaret which towers over the city center.
Elsewhere around the center of town you can find sparse remains of the ancient city walls, as well ruins of a hammam (public bath). Byzantine columns and capitals make for decoration in the center medians of many nearby streets.
It is about a four kilometer (one hour) walk from the center of Salamiyeh (سلمية) to the nearby castle known as Qalaat al-Shamamis (قلعة الشماميس). Microbuses traveling to Hama (حماة) can get you half way there, the castle is clearly visible on the north side of the road. Also consider combining a visit to Salamiyeh (سلمية) with al-Mishrafeh/Qatna (المشرفة) and/or Athriya (اثريا).
Getting There: Microbuses run very frequently between Hama (حماة) and Salamiyeh (سلمية), a trip that takes about 30 minutes. The do not depart from any of the main microbus stations in Hama (حماة), but rather from the main street just south of the city center, about 50 meters from the clock tower. Salamiyeh (سلمية) also has frequent microbus connections to Homs (حمص) and an occasional service to al-Raqqa (الرقة).