"Ma'aloula" Ma`lula by albateh
Ma`lula Travel Guide: 50 reviews and 206 photos
By far, the most important Christian site in Syria, is the magnificent village of Maaloula. In Syria it means "the entrance", probably referring to the gorge in between the mountains. Maaloula is the only village in the world that still speaks Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ. This village, with its houses piled on top of one another on the side of the mountain, makes it one of the prettiest villages in Syria.
Although Maaloula dates back very far in history, there are only two chapels and few remains that date very far back. The first chapel is the St. Sergius convent (Mar Sarkis), a Greek Catholic chapel, has a beautiful display of icons on the entrance to the altar. This chapel is considered one of the oldest, if not the oldest, in Christendom. Downward into the village is the other chapel, a Greek Orthodox institution dedicated to St Thecla (Mar Taqla), is located in the lower monastery. The Saint, said to be a pupil of St Paul's, is supposed to be buried in the mountain just above the monastery.
To the side of Mar Taqla a path leads to a very narrow cleft-you can touch both sides of it-dug by the waters draining down from the plateau. This steep passage was for ages the only access to the upper monastery, Mar Sarkis. It is dangerous to use during stormy weather.
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