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Saint George Orthodox Cathedral

The Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Georges is the Mother Cathedral of the Beirut Orthodox community. 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 early fourth century AD.

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 as war zone and confrontation line. In 1998, the restoration multi-phase project started and in 15th of December 2003, the Cathedral opened Her Great Doors.

The Cathedral is bordered to the North-East by the Greek Catholic Cathedral of Prophet Elias, to the South by the Archeological Park or ‘Garden of Forgiveness’ previously the location of the old Souks and the Maronite Saint-Georges Cathedral. It is surrounded to the South-East by the Holy Chapel of Sayyidat-al-Nourieh (Oul Lady of Light) and to the West by the ‘Place de l’Etoile’ or ‘Parliament Square’, the star shaped plaza, and the buildings of the Lebanese Parliament.

The main space of the Cathedral is rectangular and is approximately 30m long by 20m wide. The nave is 30m long by 7.5m wide subdivided into five bays. It is subdivided into three aisles, by eight impressive and elegant sandstone piers of 8,50m in height. These piers are massive with square divisions, chamfered sides and protruding bases.

The central aisle is a barrel vault intersected by a vaulted transept. Light filters through the upper windows and reflects upon the colorful frescoes that cover the vaulted ceiling.

The main space ends with three semicircular alcoves accommodating three altar spaces. The central apse of the central aisle with a half vaulted painted dome is the most important in shape and scale.
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