St. George’s Church in Izraa… an architectural masterpiece dating back over 1500 years | Partners | Belarus News | Belarusian news | Belarus today | news in Belarus | News from Minsk

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DARAA, May 30 (BelTA – SANA Agensy). – More than 1,500 years have passed since its construction, the historic Church of St. George is one of the architectural masterpieces of the world that still retains its architectural style in the city of Izraa, in the province from Daraa.

The church was built of basalt stone and it is now topped with an iron dome, having been topped with a stone dome for over 1,400 years.

St. George’s Church is considered one of the most important archaeological buildings in the world as it is one of the octagonal buildings built in 515 AD, the head of the antiquities department of St. Izraa, Milad Matroud.

According to Matroud, the dome of the church is made of wood on the inside and iron on the outside. The building’s huge stone pillars indicate that its first dome was made of stone, and the octagonal building system it contains has been adopted by architectural references around the world.

Matroud said St. George’s Church was contemporary with three churches built with the same architectural system in Italy and Turkey, but it was the only one that retained its original form without any significant changes, which allowed this architectural masterpiece, which was built more than 1500 years ago, to be a unique model.

Eight columns carry the dome and its walls are made of two links one meter thick. The church building contains the altar on the east side and its floor is blue basalt.

Matroud added that there is a founding text above the door of the church on the southwest side written in Latin, and it documents the date of construction of the church, which was once an ancient pagan temple.

The walls of the church are decorated on the outside with drawings that represent the leaves of grapes, the cultivation of which was common in the southern region of Syria.

Matroud said that the construction condition of the building is good and the cracks have been repaired thanks to the cooperation between the General Directorate of Antiquities and Museums, the Department of Antiquities of Daraa and the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch.

Priest Elia Tufenkji, pastor of St. George Greek Orthodox Church, said the church is considered the second oldest church in the world where prayers are still held.

He added that before the past ten years, trips were organized from the Faculty of Architecture of Damascus University to the church to study it, and it was the destination of tourists from all over the world due to its unique architectural style.

Over the past two months, the Church has witnessed the gradual return of foreigners after the resumption in the province, according to Tufenkji.

Daraa Tourism Director Yasser al-Saadi said: The province has started to recover, which has allowed tour groups to visit several tourist and archaeological sites such as the city of Bosra and the St. George’s Church.

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