John the Baptist Church in Homs Dated back to the 15th century AD

Homs, (ST)- The charming historical icons of Saint John the Baptist Church in Qattina town, Homs countryside, attracts visitors and believers from around the world.  Its ancient stones, dating back to hundreds of years, were built in a unique architectural design that endows it with high prestigious status.

The Church is one of the most important tourist destinations in Qattina town as the current church had been built over the ancient church which was a monastery inhabited by some monks, one of these monks was Bishop Joachim ben Maatouq.

Khoury Mtanius Wehbi explained that what have been left of the ancient church are some sacred icons which have been transported and put in the new church, in addition to some of the ecclesiastical utensils and some ancient books.

The old church was a small. One can enter through descending stairs as it was built under the ground level. The old church does not exist nowadays as a new big church with the same name was built over it.

Wehbi said that some sources mention that the ancient church was destroyed and some of them say that the new church was built over it and it remained almost intact.

Today's church consists of three yards built of the black basalt stone in 1909 AD and in 1926 the church was plastered with lime. In 1996, the lime was removed from the walls of the church and restoration works started according to the ecclesiastical rules.

Amal Farhat