Christ and the apostles stand immediately above the semi-dome of the apse on the triumphal arch. Christ is flanked by Saints Peter and Paul who have their recognisable features of white hair and beard for St. Peter and a dark beard and receding hairline for St. Paul. Although the scene has been quite damaged, some elements are very well preserved and the image of St. Paul was the only illustration used in the commemorative service books handed to priests during Pope John Paul II's visit to Damascus in 2001.
The west wall of the church is the most well preserved of all the frescoes in the cycle and shows the Last Judgement. The left hand side (blue background) shows the elect ranked from the bottom as: Syrian Orthodox monks and nuns (identifieable by their monastic hoods embroidered with 13 crosses) and St. Peter, the Church Fathers and other saints and biblical figures, the Three Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) and the Virgin Mary cradling the souls of the saved and above both sides the Apostles on either side of the Hetoimasia (Instruments of the Passion) with a pair of angels flanking the small window at the very top.
On the right hand side are the damned: fornicators, sinners such as usurers and murderers, foreign priests (Jews and Zoroastrians?), Muslims and at the top those Christians who are in doctrinal error - in this case those upholding the Council of Chalcedon.
In the centre Adam and Eve sit above two angels holding the scales of judgement and a saint or a devil receive the soul according to which side the scales fall on.
Tags: 1207/08, Abraham, Adam, An Nabk, Angel, Apostles, Chalcedon, Church, Church Council, Deir Mar Musa, Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi, Devil, Eve, Fresco, Hetoimasia, Isaac, Jacob, Jews, Last Judgement, Mar Musa al-Habashi, Monastery, Monk, Muslims, Nun, St. Peter, Syria, Syrian Orthodox, Virgin Mary, Zoroastrian
Mount Tabor is an isolated oval-shaped mountain in the Jezreel valley and is situated to the south-west of the Sea of Galilee. It is associated as the place of Christ’s Transfiguration before Peter, James and John in the presence of Elijah and Moses. Pilgrims who venerated the site in the fourth century describe three churches built on the summit of the mountain that were dedicated to Christ, Moses and Elijah. The mosaics photographed here are from this period. The Crusaders founded a Benedictine abbey on the site, remnants of which are visible today. The Franciscans built a new church in the twentieth century and the place of the Transfiguration is located in the crypt.
Tags: Architecture, Baptistery, C12th, C20th, C4th, Christ, Christian, Church, Cross, Geometric Motif, Holy Site, Israel, Jezreel Valley, Mosaic, Mount Tabor, Mountain, St. Elijah, St. James, St. John, St. Peter, Transfiguration
Situated on the north-western shoreline of the Sea of Galilee, a short distance from the church of the Multiplication, is a modern church built on the site Christ reinstated Peter as the head of the Apostles. Little of the original Late Antique church remains, thought its foundations have been incorporated into the new church. A projection of limestone rock lies at its eastern end, before the altar. This is believed to be the Mensa Christi (table of Christ) upon which Christ and the Disciples ate, following the miraculous catch.
Capernaum is an ancient fishing village situated on the northern shores of the Sea of Galilee. Within an insula of this village are a number of rooms that are traditionally associated with the house of Peter the Apostle. A simple, square room within this complex was given particular attention by the Christian community in the years immediately following his death. In the fourth century, this room became a Domus Ecclesia (a house church) and was the place for Christian prayer and gatherings. The numerous inscriptions on the painted plaster of this place suggest that it was a prominent centre of pilgrimage, even by this early period. In the fifth century, an octagonal church was built over the house church. It consisted of an inner octagon that was directly over the venerated room, a larger concentric octagon and an outer semi-octagon.
Tags: Architecture, Basalt, C1st-C2nd, C20th, C4th, C5th, Capernaum, Centrally-Planned, Christ, Christian, Church, Domus Ecclesia (house church), Galilee, Geometric Motif, Holy Site, Inscription, Israel, Mosaic, Octagonal, Pilgrimage, St. Peter, Wall
The Syrian Orthodox Church of SS. Peter and Paul has dedicatory inscriptions dated 1861 on the west entrance but appears to include elements of an older church. It is now called the Vali Kemalettin Gazezoğlu Cultural Centre.