Believed to be a Zororastrian Fire Temple it could be one of the oldest structures in Ani. The temple was later converted into a small church.
The Church of St. Thecla today is a modern convent and orphanage for young girls run by Rum Orthodox nuns, as with the convent at Saydnaya. The shrine is believed by local people to be the place that the rocks opened to receive St. Thecla as she fled an attempted rape. The story is known from the early Christian text called The Acts of Paul and Thecla and most people locate these events in Asia Minor, but there is a long-standing Syrian tradition of placing these events in Maaloula.
These pictures were taken in 2005 after the British Archaeological excavations had ended and before a Syrian team undertook to excavate the entirety of the cloister. In the year since the excavations had ended a new mud brick chapel had been constructed over the sarcophagus of the saint and at the east end of this chapel the trench where three fragments of Byzantine reliquaries had been discovered with a broken glass vessel had been left uncovered. Groundworks on the north side of the chapel in preparation for a new northern cloister revealed the earlier stratigraphy of the enclosure/chapel wall.
Type: Archaeological Excavation
Tags: Archaeological Excavation, Archaeological Finds, Archaeology, Architecture, Chapel, Church, Dayr Mar Elian, Dayr Mar Elian Archaeological Project, Monastery, Qaryatayn, Syria, Syrian Civil War
A small chapel is located on a hillside to the south of the church at Kursi and is thought to commemorate the exact spot where the Miracle of the Swine took place. Today, it is in a very ruinous state and consists of an apse built into the hillside as well as pillars and a stone bench. The floor was decorated with mosaics and there is evidence for at least two layers of different designs. The lower and earlier layer is simply decorated with a predominantly beige ground and is highlighted with a grey border. The above and later layer consists of crosses within a highly detailed geometric design. It is believed to date to the same period as the church below (late 5th – mid 6th Century).