The Oldest Church in the City of Beirut

The Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Saint George holds a special place in the hearts of many Lebanese because of its unique location overlooking Parliament Square right in the heart of Beirut’s city center. The Cathedral of Saint George is the Mother Cathedral of Beirut’s Greek Orthodox community. It’s the “Thronos”, the throne of the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Beirut and its dependencies. The Cathedral is the oldest church in the city of Beirut, and one of the oldest in the region. The first Christian temple ever built in the very location goes back to the mid sixth century AD and it’s closely associated with Beirut’s famous Law School.

Close links have developed between the Law School of Beirut and the Church. The bishop of Beirut Eustathius (Eustache), by decree of the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II in the year 449 or 450, managed to give the city of Beirut, the title of “Metropolis”, a privilege that until then belonged the city of Tyre which was the capital of Phoenicia.

Efstathius also built in Beirut a large cathedral, the church of the Resurrection (Anastasis Church), which bordered on the “auditoria”, the classrooms of the Law School of Beirut where Christian students worshiped in the afternoon after their lessons.

The Anastasis church was destroyed in 551 AD by a massive earthquake that devastated Beirut.

After the earthquake of 551, the Anastasis cathedral was build again around the twelfth century. In 1759 the cathedral was again shaken by another earthquake. It was then destroyed again to be rebuilt with a single altar, this time dedicated to Saint George. Ultimately the design turned out to be untenable; the cathedral collapsed again three years later after it was rebuilt. Finally in 1772 it was erected once more with three new altars as it still stands today.

During the Lebanese civil war, the Cathedral suffered many attacks of theft and vandalism, as well as effects of nature’s impact in a region considered a war zone and confrontation line. In 1998, the restoration multi-phase project started on the 15th of December, 2003, when the Cathedral once again opened its doors to the faithful.

News Kosmos

  • wargame1

    The Greek Eastern Byzantine Empire were always close to God. They were the lover of Arts and science and had a magnificent quality of governing the Empire. On the other hand the western pagan Romans looted Constantinople and aided the capture of Constantine . The war of Empire is like survival of the fittest and had to face the other empires such as the mongols , the huns, The Arab Muslims, the Avars , the persians etc. Islam defeated both Persian and Roman empire as they also had the right to secure their Arab land and they could. The history could be other way round if the Romans were victorious. It could also be a Persian triumph if they were not defeated by the Arabs.

    Therefore we see the good side of every empire and in this article its the Byzantine.They had great contribution towards a beautifully governed society.Their artistic work still exist in their old Constantinople and in greater Syria. They lasted thousand years and Islam evolved and had great contribution too. 
    Today the Greek Byzantine and Pagan Roman element still exist but dispersed in many continent on earth. 

    It is difficult to identify them as Exact Eastern and western Empire as once both Eastern and Western Romans were one and then they separated due to religious difference of opinion.

     The best way to identify them is to search for Greek vs Latin , Eastern Greek orthodox Christians vs The Roman Catholic Christians.The difference in basic faith on Jesus(peace be upon him). The origin of the Greek Byzantine is from Greece proper its a name after a Greek city. They spoke Greek and were from the Hellenic origin.They were from today’s Greece!! The influence of Byzantine empire Expanded to western Europe and among the Slavs thats why Russia today has Orthodox Christianity(I believe its another variation of Orthodox and not entirely Greek) and used to be run by the Orthodox Christian Ruler called ” 
    The Tsar of Russia “.But Russian present Government is communist under sheep clothing who is against any religion. 

    If I could pick only one people, based on language, religion and racial/cultural heritage I would say the people of modern Greece would be ‘best’ suited to identify as to what is left of them. They were the core of the empire and the only ones who self-identified as Rhomioi (Romans/Greeks), but other orthodox christian peoples had also contributed to the splendor of the empire. It is no use to identify the Byzantine empire of today, because the empire does not exist any more. But yet it is fascinating to search their past glory. 

  • wargame1

    The Greek Eastern Byzantine Empire were always close to God. They were the lover of Arts and science and had a magnificent quality of governing the Empire. On the other hand the western pagan Romans looted Constantinople and aided the capture of Constantine . The war of Empire is like survival of the fittest and had to face the other empires such as the mongols , the huns, The Arab Muslims, the Avars , the persians etc. Islam defeated both Persian and Roman empire as they also had the right to secure their Arab land and they could. The history could be other way round if the Romans were victorious. It could also be a Persian triumph if they were not defeated by the Arabs.

    Therefore we see the good side of every empire and in this article its the Byzantine.They had great contribution towards a beautifully governed society.Their artistic work still exist in their old Constantinople and in greater Syria. They lasted thousand years and Islam evolved and had great contribution too. 
    Today the Greek Byzantine and Pagan Roman element still exist but dispersed in many continent on earth. 

    It is difficult to identify them as Exact Eastern and western Empire as once both Eastern and Western Romans were one and then they separated due to religious difference of opinion.

     The best way to identify them is to search for Greek vs Latin , Eastern Greek orthodox Christians vs The Roman Catholic Christians.The difference in basic faith on Jesus(peace be upon him). The origin of the Greek Byzantine is from Greece proper its a name after a Greek city. They spoke Greek and were from the Hellenic origin.They were from today’s Greece!! The influence of Byzantine empire Expanded to western Europe and among the Slavs thats why Russia today has Orthodox Christianity(I believe its another variation of Orthodox and not entirely Greek) and used to be run by the Orthodox Christian Ruler called ” 
    The Tsar of Russia “.But Russian present Government is communist under sheep clothing who is against any religion. 

    If I could pick only one people, based on language, religion and racial/cultural heritage I would say the people of modern Greece would be ‘best’ suited to identify as to what is left of them. They were the core of the empire and the only ones who self-identified as Rhomioi (Romans/Greeks), but other orthodox christian peoples had also contributed to the splendor of the empire. It is no use to identify the Byzantine empire of today, because the empire does not exist any more. But yet it is fascinating to search their past glory. 

  • Hannibal

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/07/070726-lebanon-quake_2.html
    If every 1200 years we get an earthquake that puts us in the vicinity of year 2960 (551…1759…2960) Nothing to worry about for now… HEHE

    • Prophettttt

      Hannibal,
      “More than 30,000 people(out of 45 thousands living in the city ) died in Beirut alone and, along the Phoenician coast, the total number of casualties was close to 250,000 ” ,1200 years ago. Such a large number even by today’s standards.
      With such a large population today, any emergency plan would be useless because there might not be anyone left to it.I wonder if an earthquake alert system is even useful since there is no place to run to.
      If your calculation is correct, I may not be able to witness it ,unless I eat very healthy,lol

      • Hannibal

        It was a Zionist made tsunami… The conspiracy started back then… lol

        • Prophettttt

          NOOOOOOOOOOOO, ITS THE SYRIANS’ FAULT.LOL……Hannibal,When the Maronites moved from Syria to Lebanon, IS when the Syrian interference with Lebanese affairs started,lol
          Unless you’re trying to get on dab’s good side,then I’d understand,lol

      • Hannibal

        That was actually the size of the city… Notice the Arabs invaded some 100 years later… The Roman cities never recovered. The Law school was moved to Sidon… The whole landscape changed. When the Maronites Monks were slaughtered by the Monophysites (maronites believed that Jesus had two natures Divine and Human as opposed to the Monophysites who believed that Jesus was JUST divine) they took refuge in Lebanon’s mountains where up to those days the local populace still worshipped Phoenician and Hellenistic deities and converted them to Christianity (The right form :P)… Then they helped the invading moslem armies defeat the byzantine armies (What a mistake :P)… Finding out that they replaced one tyrant with another they started raiding the Arab caravans stripping them of their supplies and they were named Marada. Then little was heard about them for 400 years as they hid in the Lebanese rugged Mountains (Qadisha etc…). When the Crusaders arrived to Lebanon in 1110 A.D. they were astonished to find the Maronites still thriving in this “Moslem Sea” as rumors had it that they were no more. During the Crusaders rule they started going back to the sea shore. They populated the emptied regions of keserwan later on which was populated by the Shia who were driven out by the Mamelukes to the Bekaa valley. The Maronites, Druze and Shia fought the Mamelukes and the Ottomans rewarded the Druze who fought with them in Marj Dabek in 1516 by giving Fakher el Din al Maani  the Principality of Lebanon where he established a Druze-Maronite alliance lasting for hundreds of years… This prosperous principality would be the base of the modern Lebanese Republic. Lebanon is just that… Lebanon with no label. It is an amalgam of histories where the different refugees came to it for shelter… The Sea people after their defeat by the Pharaoh hid there and taught the Phoenicians how to navigate the seas and built mighty Carthage and spread north into Iberia and Malta and Sicily. The Maronites monks hid there and transferred their teachings to the local Canaanites/Aramaic populace. The Druze sought refuge there as did the Shiites. The Sunnis dwelt on the sea shore and many of them have Arab or Phoenician blood as a good number of Aramaic people converted to Islam. Many passed through, the Greeks, and we remained Lebanese… The Romans and we remained Lebanese… The Arabs, and we remained Lebanese… The Crusaders, and we remained Lebanese… The Ottomans, and we remained Lebanese… The Syrians, and we remained Lebanese… The Israelis, and we remained Lebanese… and we shall remain… People of the world… Stop trying… Lebanon will remain Lebanese…

        • Prophettttt

          Did I ask for all that? What a mistake kidding with you.lol
          I question your  claim of secularism now.lol

        • 5thDrawer

          Poor Prophet … hehhee .. but nicely done Hannibal. 🙂

      • Hannibal

        me secular? naaa…
        @Prophettttt We can’t escape them, the Syrians, can we? Damn it! lol

      • 5thDrawer

        Anyone trying to calculate how many ‘civilizations’ died when Santorini blew up?? And it seems to be building again … oh, oh … no timeline there … :-)))

    • wargame1

      There is a possibility of an earthquake in “Harasta” a place in Syria. Is it near Lebanon? 

      • 5thDrawer

        Harasta is Damascus …. already an earthquake going on there … and too damn close for sure.

  • http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/07/070726-lebanon-quake_2.html
    If every 1200 years we get an earthquake that puts us in the vicinity of year 2960 (551…1759…2960) Nothing to worry about for now… HEHE

    • Prophettttt

      Hannibal,
      “More than 30,000 people died in Beirut alone” ,1200 years ago. Such a large number even by today’s standards.I wonder what was the population of Beirut then.
      With such a large population today, any emergency plan would be useless because there might not be anyone left to it.I wonder if an earthquake alert system is even useful since there is no place to run to.
      If your calculation is correct, I may not be able to witness it ,unless I eat very healthy,lol

      • It was a Zionist made tsunami… The conspiracy started back then… lol

        • Prophettttt

          NOOOOOOOOOOOO, ITS THE SYRIANS’ FAULT.LOL

      • That was actually the size of the city… Notice the Arabs invaded some 100 years later… The Roman cities never recovered. The Law school was moved to Sidon… The whole landscape changed. When the Maronites Monks were slaughtered by the Monophysites (maronites believed that Jesus had two natures Divine and Human as opposed to the Monophysites who believed that Jesus was JUST divine) they took refuge in Lebanon’s mountains where up to those days the local populace still worshipped Phoenician and Hellenistic deities and converted them to Christianity (The right form :P)… Then they helped the invading moslem armies defeat the byzantine armies (What a mistake :P)… Finding out that they replaced one tyrant with another they started raiding the Arab caravans stripping them of their supplies and they were named Marada. Then little was heard about them for 400 years as they hid in the Lebanese rugged Mountains (Qadisha etc…). When the Crusaders arrived to Lebanon in 1110 A.D. they were astonished to find the Maronites still thriving in this “Moslem Sea” as rumors had it that they were no more. During the Crusaders rule they started going back to the sea shore. They populated the emptied regions of keserwan later on which was populated by the Shia who were driven out by the Mamelukes to the Bekaa valley. The Maronites, Druze and Shia fought the Mamelukes and the Ottomans rewarded the Druze who fought with them in Marj
        Dabek in 1516 by giving Fakher el Din al Maani  the
        Principality of Lebanon where he established a Druze-Maronite alliance lasting
        for hundreds of years… This prosperous principality would be the base of the
        modern Lebanese Republic. Lebanon is just that… Lebanon with no label. It is an amalgam of histories where the different refugees came to it for shelter… The Sea people after their defeat by the Pharaoh hid there and taught the Phoenicians how to navigate the seas and built mighty Carthage and spread north into Iberia and Malta and Sicily. The Maronites monks hid there and transferred their teachings to the local Canaanites/Aramaic populace. The Druze sought refuge there as did the Shiites. The Sunnis dwelt on the sea shore and many of them have Arab or Phoenician blood as a good number of Aramaic people converted to Islam. Many passed through, the Greeks, and we remained Lebanese… The Romans and we remained Lebanese… The Arabs, and we remained Lebanese… The Crusaders, and we remained Lebanese… The Ottomans, and we remained Lebanese… The Syrians, and we remained Lebanese… The Israelis, and we remained Lebanese… and we shall remain… People of the world… Stop trying… Lebanon will remain Lebanese…

        • Prophettttt

          Did I ask for all that? What a mistake kidding with you.lol
          I question your  claim of secularism now.lol

        • 5thDrawer

          Poor Prophet … hehhee .. but nicely done Hannibal. 🙂

      • me secular? naaa…

      • 5thDrawer

        Anyone trying to calculate how many ‘civilizations’ died when Santorini blew up?? And it seems to be building again … oh, oh … no timeline there … :-)))

    • wargame1

      There is a possibility of an earthquake in “Harasta” a place in Syria. Is it near Lebanon? 

      • 5thDrawer

        Harasta is Damascus …. already an earthquake going on there … and too damn close for sure.

  • Fadi81

    Great article, thanks.

  • Fadi81

    Great article, thanks.