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Maaloula, Syria

Maaloula General ViewMaaloula is one of the most scenic villages in Syria and is of particular interest as the only place in the world where Aramaic; the language spoken by Christ (pbuh) is still used as a living language. The word Maaloula means entrance in Aramaic.

It's situated at an altitude of more than 1500 meters; with its little houses cling to the face of an enormous rock; making it look suspended in mid-air.

There are two important monasteries in Maaloula: Mar Sarkis and Mar Taqla: Enter Mar Sarkis Monastery, and you will find yourself in the midst of history. This monastery was built in the 4th century on remains of a heathen temple, designed on the model of martyries, which have a simple, plain appearance. It was named after St. Sarkis, one of Syrian horsemen who fell in the reign of king Maximanus in 297. This monastery still maintains its solemn historical character.

Then visit renowned Mar Taqla Monastery, along with scores of pilgrims, both Muslim and Christian, who go there to gain blessings and to make offerings; the place that holds remains of St. Taqla; daughter of one of Selucid princes, and pupil of St. Paul.

Should you want to see more, there are the remains of numerous monasteries, convents, churches, shrines and sanctuaries some of which lie in ruins, while others continue to stand, defying age.

This is Maaloula, the unique village, still genuine in this whole world, a magnificent plaque that contains a strange mixture of past and present, reality and legend, sanctity and beauty.

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