Saint George Monastery (Homs)

Saint George Monastery (Homs)

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Saint George Monastery (Homs)

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Saint George Monastery or Deir Mar Jirjis () is a historic Antiochian Orthodox monastery located in northwestern Syria's "Valley of the Christians" (وادي النصارة, Wadi al-Nasara) in the town of Meshtaye, a village belonging to the Homs Governorate, just a few kilometers north of the famous castle Krak des Chevaliers.

The valley is a regional center of the Greek Orthodox Christianity since the 6<sup>th</sup> century. 27 of its 32 villages are today Christian, four are mainly populated by Alawi Muslims and only one, Al Qal'a just under the Krak des Chevaliers, is mainly Sunni Muslim.


It is said that the monastery was built over remains of an ancient statue of the god Homerus by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I sometime in the 5<sup>th</sup> century. The monastery occupies a 6,000 m² land and was built entirely from Byzantine styled stone.The modern church was rebuilt in 1857. Most of the older monastery's items are preserved and displayed in the monastery. Its entrance features a triple arch and two central supporting columns of Byzantine origin. A historical big stone with religious carvings can be found in the monastery's southern gate. The wooden iconostasis found inside the church are decorated with impressive carvings and are magnificent presentations of art, its gold painted icons depict various scenes from the life of Christ. Beneath the monastery's main courtyard there is an older 13<sup>th</sup>...
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