Syrian Orthodox Convent and Church, Jerusalem

Syrian Orthodox Convent and Church, Jerusalem

Tucked away in the Armenian quarter's main residential area lies one of Jerusalem's lesser-known gems: an ancient convent belonging to the Syrian Orthodox Church, also known as the Jacobites after their founder Jacob Baradai. They've been here since the late 6th century, preserving their traditions and tongue, Classical Syriac, which you might spot inscribed in mosaic above the door.

Legend has it that Saint Mark's Church within the convent occupies the spot where Saint Peter first established a Christian community, hosting significant events like the Virgin Mary's baptism and the Last Supper. Over centuries of destruction and reconstruction, the original Upper Room of the Last Supper now lies beneath the church, aptly dubbed the "upper room down below".

Guided tours by the church staff offer a glimpse into this historical sanctuary, complete with a quick English briefing in the intimate worship hall. Here, you'll marvel at the ornate gilded altar, intricately-carved patriarchal throne, and iconic images including a parchment painting of the Virgin and Child, attributed by the monks to Luke the Evangelist. For those drawn to the solemnity of liturgical worship, Saint Mark's also preserves the oldest surviving liturgy in Christianity, harkening back to the rites of the early Christian Church of Jerusalem. Conducted in Syriac, a dialect of the Aramaic spoken by Jesus himself, it offers a glimpse into the ancient rituals of faith.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Jerusalem. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Syrian Orthodox Convent and Church on Map

Sight Name: Syrian Orthodox Convent and Church
Sight Location: Jerusalem, Israel (See walking tours in Jerusalem)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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