Mar Gerges Church
Mar Gerges Church in Izra'a City in Daraa province was built in 515 AD at the place of a pagan temple with a unique architectural style which made it one of the most important historical monuments
in Syria and in the world as most of the European churches have been built according to its architectural design.
The design of the Church is based on eight pillars, on top of which one can see a roof bearing an oval dome surrounded by a hallway while at its four corners, there are huge niches.
Director of Excavation Division at Daraa Antiquities Department, Qassem al-Mohammad said that the unique architectural design of the Church has been mentioned in references and books on architectural engineering in most the countries of the world as it is considered a first stage of religious building in the Byzantine Age.
He indicated that the Church has maintained its natural structure without being affected by the natural factors or human activity.
He added that the Church is 27,60 meters long and 19 meters wide while its height is estimated at 10 meters without the dome and it reaches 16 meters with the dome.
Archeologist Researcher Yaser Abu Noqta considered that Mar Gerges Church is the first church in the world that was built according to the rectangular architectural design, indicating that the roofs were mainly built of basalt stones contrary to the wooden roofs used in most of the countries.
He added that Daraa is very rich in basalt stones and this is why the church was made of this type of stones which is used in all the buildings in Daraa regardless of their nature.
Every wall of the Church consists of two one-meter wide bonds, and it contains eight semicircular arches, and inside the hallway, there is a wall carrying a dome whose floor was covered with basalt stones according to precise dimensions.
The oval-shaped dome of the Church is made of wood and covered with metals, and it was destroyed during the reign of Ibrahim Basha in 1840, but it was later restored during the reign of Patriarch Gregorius Haddad in 1911.
The Church has four entrances, three of which are at the Western facade, and two of which were closed while a main entrance and an entrance at southern side were left, and despite of the fact that the Church was built 1500 years ago, religious rituals are held at it up till now.