Project Description

It stood for centuries above the ancient settlement at Maaloula, in the mountains northeast of Damascus. Saint Thecla’s monastery was a complex built on the mountains, consisting of a mausoleum, grotto with a spring, which according to tradition is miraculous, churches, convents, bishops’ residence and guesthouse. The monastery of St Thecla and the Church of St John the Baptist was rebuilt in 1756. Another nearby building dating to 1888 served as a patriarchal residence. A guest house was built in 1934 and the modern convent of St Thecla in 1935–1959. The new church was built upon the remains of an ancient church of unknown date.

After the coming of the terrorists and militants of Al-Nusra Front the sisters sought refuge in the Convent of St. Thecla together with 40 orphaned children. The Syrian army continued the clean-up operation against terrorists. The military operation was successful; however the shellfire that targeted rebels rained down on the convent breaking walls and ceilings, and causing icons, crosses, holy books, and images of the Virgin Mary to fall to the ground. The recapture of Maaloula by the country’s government came at a very high price.