The location of the Maronite Church might have been donated by the “Jalal el-Din” family to the Christian Maronites of Saida in 1616. An armchair was placed in the Church so that one of them could attend the service. This Church dedicated to St. Elie is today in a state of neglect. The church tower, the only remaining vestige of its glorious past, still stands. The Greek-Orthodox and Greek-Catholic churches that were built in 1690 are located between the passageway Zikak el Kilani and Shareh el Jedid. The Greek-Catholic community built an imposing church outside the old city, on the other side of Shareh el Jedid, abandoning the old site. The Greek-Orthodox church built in a style common to every other place of worship in the old town is completely vaulted and most beautiful. It comprises a three-door iconostasis separating the nave from the shrine. The crucifix surmounting the tabernacle is worthy of admiration.
The Greek-Catholic church, transferred outside the old town was built in 1896 in a very grandiose style. The nearby bishop’s palace comprises painted ceilings that represent some episodes of the Old and the New Testament: Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, a covey of birds (quails) holding manna in their beaks (Exodus XIV, 16, 22), the Jordan waters miracle (Exodus XIV, 21, 22 ), the miracle of the spring in the middle of the desert when Yahweh said to Moses “Take in your hand the staff… you must strike the rock, and the water will flow from it for the people to drink” (Exodus XVII, 5, 6 ), and finally the Nativity work of the artist Saliba Hanna painted in the last century . The crucified Christ is placed in the Greek-Orthodox church behind the altar, in front of a niche that looks like a mihrab. The Latin Church was built in 1856 and entrusted to the Franciscan fathers. It stands adjacent to Khan el Franj and faces the old residence that used to be the Consulate of France in the days of Emir Fakhreddine II. Inside the church, on both sides of the tabernacle, still, remain two marble plaques. The first one represents two folded arms in front of a cross: the first arm is covered with a sleeve, whereas the second one is bare. As for the other plaque, it represents a big central cross surrounded by four small crosses. The paintings that decorate the ceiling of the Greek-Catholic episcopate are inspired, for the most part, by the Old Testament. The Maronite church that dates back to the XVII century was donated by the Jalal el Dine family, Today, it’s closed.
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