Photographer's Note

The ancient and predominantly Christian village of Maalula is located in the eastern slopes of Al-Qalamoun mountains (Anti-Lebanon mountains), southern Syria about 50 km north of Damascus. It is situated at an altitude of more than 1500 metres.
The houses are built on the slopes of a huge cirque of rocks that encloses the village; the houses are constructed of stones with flat beam roofs. Most of the houses have blue plaster on the outside, a Christian custom.

There are two monasteries here; Saint Sergius (Sarkis) and Saint Thecla (Tekla). Most of the inhabitants are Greek-Catholic and have preserved in their spoken language a dialect of Syriac (Aramaic), the language spoken by Christ. The word Maalula means 'entrance' in Aramaic.

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Additional Photos by Matteo Porta (mporta) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 198 W: 78 N: 620] (3812)
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