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St. George's Monastery

St. George's Monastery (in Arabic دير مار جرجس, Deir Mar Jirjis) is a Greek Orthodox monastery located in northwestern Syria's "Valley of the Christians" (Wadi Nasara) just a few km north of the famous castle Krak des Chevaliers.

Wadi Nasara has been a center of Greek Orthodox Christianity since the 6th century. Of its 32 villages, 27 are Christian, four are mainly poulated by Alawi Muslims and one, Al Qalaa just under the Krak des Chevaliers, is Sunni Muslim.

History

St. George's Monastery was built in the late 5th or early 6th century, but most of its buildings are modern. The new church was built in 1857.

What to See

The entrance to the modern church features a triple arch and two central supporting columns of Byzantine origin. Inside the church is a carved wooden iconostasis. Its gold painted icons depict various scenes from the life of Christ.

Beneath the monastery's main courtyard is a 13th century chapel with a smaller iconostasis, depicting scenes from the life of St. George. At this lower level there is also an entrance to what is believed to be the original 6th century monastery and several large amphoras.

The monastery also contains a shrine of St. George, built in the 5th century, as well as a document written by Caliph Omar Ibn Al Khattab in 635 AD.

Festivals and Events

The monastery is busiest during pilgrimages at the feast of St. George (May 6) and the feast of the elevation of the Holy Cross (September 14).

Quick Facts on St. George's Monastery

Site Information
Names:Deir Mar Jirjis; St. George's Monastery
State:Wadi Nasara
Country:Syria
Faiths:Christianity
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Syria
Coordinates:34.767407° N, 36.268010° E  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of St. George's Monastery

Below is a location map and aerial view of St. George's Monastery. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.

References

  1. "St. George's Monastery" - Wikipedia (2006)
  2. "St. George's Convent (Deir Mar Jurjus)" - Syria Gate (2006)

More Information

Article Info

Title:St. George's Monastery
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:10/27/2009
Permalink:www.sacred-destinations.com/usa/st-george-monastery
Link code:<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/usa/st-george-monastery">St. George's Monastery</a>