Photo of the Day 17 February 2008

Saint Simeon Church, Syria, 1978
Photograph by James Stanfield
The isolated ruins of the Church of Saint Simeon stand beneath a turquoise sky in the Syrian desert. This sprawling complex, located on a hill 37 miles (60 kilometers) from the nearest city (Aleppo), was built between A.D. 476 and 491 to honor St. Simeon Stylites, the famed ascetic monk who spent nearly 40 years in prayer atop a 40-foot (12-meter) pillar. The remains of the pillar can still be seen in the church's courtyard.