Ma`lula Travel Guide

  • Ma'lula
    Ma'lula
    by Tuna_ank
  • Takla church
    Takla church
    by Tuna_ank
  • Ma'lula
    Ma'lula
    by Tuna_ank

Ma`lula Things to Do

  • Then I lost my eyeglasses at Ma'loula!

    Now, I really believed in karma. I was hungry then I remember I have some bananas in my camera bag which I bought at the service van station in Damascus, I ate a couple of it and out of my mind I threw the peel on the ground while walking, in seconds I was looking for my eyeglasses --- I've lost it! Then I remember I did something wrong, I walked...

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  • The views of Ma'loula at the convent

    Standing on top of the terrace of the convent, you'll see the surroundings of Ma'loula and it's spectacular. I saw some girls cleaning a big basin of grapes probably preparing it for juicing.

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  • The cave tomb of St. Takla

    The last set of stairs going inside a carved concrete housing on a rock is said to be the burial cave where the remains of St. Takla lies.When you get in the chapel-like house, there is a courtyard where people are sitting on the sides and a large tree protrude its branches in and out to the windows of the house. At the end of the courtyard is the...

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  • Inside the St. Takla Convent 2

    Don't forget to go up the stairs at the convent and stand near the belfry as the view is nice. The terrace before the other stairs going up where the remains of St. Tekla lies.

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  • St. Takla Convent

    The monastery of St. Takla holds a nice chapel and the remains of St. Takla inside a small concrete house on the uppermost portion carved inside the rock mountain.St. Takla is a daughter of a Seleucid prince, a pupil of and married to St. Paul. The convent is bigger the St. Sergius and Bacchus convent and in a more dramatic location.

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  • St. Takla Convent.. the gorge's...

    Rested for awhile at the open-air courtyard of the gorge. Lots of tourists are gathering here owing to the beauty of the view.In fact, I didn't expect seeing this in Ma'loula, I was just interested in seeing the scenic town on the edge of the mountain, this was a plus.

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  • St. Takla Convent.. the gorge's...

    After passing through the small opening passageways between the rocks, it opens up to a huge open-air sort of a courtyard where people converge -- taking pics. The view of the whole area is breath-taking. You'll find many inlet carvings on the mountain rocks some of them big enough that you can get in, similar to the ones I've seen in Cappadocia,...

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  • St. Takla Convent... the gorgeous gorge...

    The story says, this gorge opening is related to the escape of St. Takla. WHile St. Takla is escaping from her father's soldiers who're after her because of her christian beliefs, and she prayed til the mountain opened up that made her escape.So this is the gorge opening. It's kind of thrilling passing through the small opening between the gorges....

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  • St. Takla Convent... the gorgeous gorge...

    From the gorge passage entrance, I walked along with other people. You have to navigate in between the gorges of huge mountian rocks. There are people passing and I found it, could I say this -- "cute" nuns photographing each other. Am not really sure if I could say that, but am not used to seeing nuns.So on we go to the way to the convent.Keep on...

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  • St. Takla Convent

    St. Takla is a greek orthodox monastery dramatically enclaved on the rugged rocks of Ma'loula.After visiting St. Sergius and Bacchus convent, I walked along the road passing by the 4-star and maybe the only big hotel in the area - Safir Hotel. Sat for awhile at a side-road store to drink a soda, while sitting in front of me on the other road are...

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  • St. Sergius and Bacchus Monastery

    The St. Sergius and Bacchus convent is a greek catholic monastery located up on the mountain of Maaloula. Probably one of the oldest christian monastery predating the council of Nicea 325AD. Dedicated to the paired saints of St. Sergius and Bacchus - who died in 303AD - two high ranking roman soldiers under Ceasar Maximianus persecuted because of...

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  • Huge rugged mountain

    I passed by along the highway between two huge range of rock mountains on my way to St. Sergius monastery. I was following two locals with a kid who are going up also, I don't know to where, but am sure am on the right track as the kid down the town said so.

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  • The walk up to St. Sergius

    The service van dropped us at the main road of the town. I walked up on the long road up to St. Sergius instead of the easier way to St. Taqla qhich should be on the right side.It was a 20-minute hike up the rugged mountain along a nice paved highway.

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  • Syria's scenic village

    The catch: the only place on earth where people still speaks the language of Christ - Aramaic.I guess that's the main reason - uniqueness - that made me come to Maaloula, however, the village is truly a beauty. Houses built on the side of the rugged mountains of rocks. The village or town is up on the mountain 1,500 meters high all the houses or at...

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  • The Caves of Maaloula

    The cliffs surrounding Maaloula are dotted with little caves. It is said that people have sought refuge in these caves since ancient times. It seemed to me that this habit has not stopped to this day. Sadly, I noticed that many poor families still seemed to inhabit them.

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  • Maaloula's Cross

    Facing Maaloula is a large cross etched in one of the cliffs, seen in the attached photograph. The cross is a testament to the strong Christian character of the village.

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  • Deir Mar Sarkis (Monastery of Saint...

    Located on a hill at the edge of Maaloula, Deir Mar Sarkis, a Greek Catholic (Melkite) institution, is said to have existed as a church since the earliest Christian times. It is also said to have replaced a Roman pagan temple, of which the circular altar supposedly remains to this day. Sergius was a Roman who converted to Christianity and refused...

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  • The Blue Houses of Maaloula

    Adding to the charm of Maaloula is the colour locals choose to paint their houses. Most are yellow, but many are blue, which is unique to Maaloula.

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Ma`lula Restaurants

  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo

    by call_me_rhia Updated Jan 18, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There's not a lot of food joints in Maalula... this one seemed cosy enough - and tiny: three little tables, nine chairs, not a lot of food, and variety - same as above but worse! But very intimante and friendly.

    Favorite Dish: a huge chocolate croissant.. the largest I have ever seen. They also had 4 lonely small pizza-like breads covered in cheese or thyme. And delicious fruit juices.

    the great bakery

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Ma`lula Transportation

  • Service shared van from Dasmascus to...

    I took a taxi from Damascus to the service van depot where the service van to Ma'alula is. I just told the taxi driver to take me to service or bus station going to Ma'loula. It's not really easy as I've asked 2 people who led me to the wrong way. I've asked the store at the bottom of the stairs of the pedestrian bridge going to old city. The place...

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  • Getting to Maaloula

    There are tourist buses that leave regularly to Maaloula which I did not take. My mode of transportation around Syria was in a rental car. My travel companions and I took the Damascus-Homs motorway north of the city and drove for about 45 minutes before reaching the turn. However, the easiest way to get to Maaloula for the day is to hire a car with...

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  • To Damascus

    Going back from Maalula to Damascus I waited at a restaurant in the outskirts of Maalula. I stopped a microbus passing and it was 25 SP to Damascus and it took about an hour. Back in Damascus I had no idea at what bus station the bus stopped. I did not recognise it at Karajat Maalula from the morning. I walked to a microbus stop for buses around...

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Ma`lula Shopping

  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo

    by call_me_rhia Written Jan 18, 2003

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    Rght in the counrtyard of the sant sergius and bacchus monastery, on the right, a little door on the right leads you inside the little museum and shop. Among the many religious "souvenirs" it's possible to buy unlabelled bottles of this delicous dessert wine, made by the priests themselves.

    What to buy: the red sweet wine. the bottle, as stated, in unlabelled and simple, but it's possible to buy decorated empty bottles if you'd like to turn the wine into a nice present once back home

    What to pay: 200 syrian pounds for a bottle

    goblets for wine tasting, deir mar sarkis

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Ma`lula Local Customs

  • Some Syrian Mezze (starters ) or for...

    MAGDOUSIngredientsEggplantsSweet red pepper pasteCrushed walnutsOlive oilSaltSliced garlic (optional)The stuffingMix together the sweet red pepper paste with the crushed walnuts and the garlic.MOUHAMMARAIngredients100 gr. bread crumbs50 gr. sweet red pepper paste10 gr. crushed dried hot red pepper20 gr. cumin40 gr. concentrated pomegranate syrup100...

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  • maalula: the lost language is alive

    Maalula is really a strange place: I wrote before that people of different faiths go there on a pilgrimage, or that different religious denominations coexist under the same roof, peacefully. On top of this, the little village presents another peculiarity: the language! Although all people are taught arabci at school, the native language of the...

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  • the healing water at deir mar takla

    Deir Mar Takla, Santa Tecla monastery - a place where there's a well containing healing waters. I've heard two different sides of the story: the first is that this water helps healing illnesses, and the second says that drinking this water has the power to make woman pregnant and to "remove" sterility from men. The great thing about it is that...

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Ma`lula Warnings and Dangers

  • June.b's Profile Photo

    by June.b Written Nov 30, 2010

    I don't know if it's dangerous but surely it should be a warning. My belief in karma or the saying that what goes around comes around - was strengthened here.

    I was a bit hungry and I started eating the bananas I've bought at the van station in Damascus. While walking I throw the banana peeling on the ground just on the side of the St. Takla convent - there are other rubish around so I presumed it's ok but I know it isn't of course, I was just out of my mind or unmindful.. Anyhoo, seconds after I've dropped the peeling, I was searching for my eyeglasses...damned, I must have dropped it off somewhere, then I suddenly remembered doing something not nice, so I walked back where i"ve thrown the banana peeling, picked it up and throw it on the rubbish bin. I've back-tracked where I've walked but well, bad things done and I never found my eyeglasses anymore.

    So be careful, mind your rubbish.

    i've thrown the peeling here...
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Photography
    • Backpacking

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Ma`lula Favorites

  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo

    by call_me_rhia Updated Jan 18, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Maaluna, and ancient predominently christian village in the mountains of the Anti-Lebanon (Al-Qalamoun mountains) which lies about 50 kilometres and 50 minutes bus ride north of Damascus. Maalula is a place like no other: life sems to be standing still, and revolving around the two monasteries: the one of saint serius and bacchus, and the one of sainta tecla.

    Fondest memory: the wonderful yet simple blue houses - a striking pleasant feature after the much concrete greyness of your average MIddle Eastern cities. Maalula's houses seem to be hanging tight onto the rock behind them, in a very precarious way. It's great to walk around amid them, wondering what supernatural force allows them to exist.

    the blue houses of maalula

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Explore Deeper into Ma`lula
The Gorge of St Thecla
Things to Do
Deir Mar Takla (Convent of Saint Thecla)
Things to Do
The village
Things to Do
Monastery of St Serkis
Things to Do
The siq
Things to Do
Continue past the hotel
Things to Do
Cafe
Things to Do
Deir Mar Takla
Things to Do
The Convent of Saint Takla
Things to Do
Walk the path and see the caves
Things to Do
The Convent of Saint Serge & Saint Bacchus
Things to Do
From Seidnayya to Maalula
Transportation
The Church on top of the mountain
Things to Do
paint me blue
Things to Do
the monks' cells
Things to Do
the siq
Things to Do
deir mar takla
Things to Do
deir mar sarkis
Things to Do
a funky microbus
Transportation
mixed religions at deir mar sarkis church
Local Customs
Map of Ma`lula

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