Orthodox Church Of The Lady Of Saydnaya
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Orthodox Church Of The Lady Of Saydnaya Damascus Reviews
Our Lady of Saydnaya, forsake us not. Mar 17, 2011
The title is what was embroidered on the little handkerchiefs we were handed at the entrance of the chapel.
This is my first attempt to write a review, so please have mercy on me. i'd leave it to the experts if it wasn't for the sake of 'our lady of Saydnaya' =) and please excuse my English, as i'm still not very fluent.
After a 6 hour bus ride from Aleppo, it was already getting dark by the time we arrived. Having a flight to catch the next morning, there was very little time left to see around. no one of us had the slightest clue of what we could do with the time we had left, since it was already too late to visit local museums, shops etc... Thankfully, our host family overheard some of our 'concerns' through the constant whining and mumbling, and offered to rent a minibus (which is pretty much the easiest thing to find in Syria =) . And there we were on our way (which at the time seemed to us) into the middle of nowhere.
20 minutes of darkness is too much if you are travelling with two grumpy teenagers, and haven't been able to refresh your contacts since 2 days. (do i sound pricky yet?)
The first thing that catches your attention is the monastery carved out of huge rocks, on top of a hill.
Before you throw yourself onto the road, be sure to ask a local about the place. It's even better if you call and ask for proper directions from the chapel, as it's a bit confusing to get in once you are there =)
if you're lucky enough they might even send someone for your guidance.
don't forget to mention the miracle of mary's icon before you make it through the labyrinth-like stairway. if not the miracle itself, the story behind it is capable of leaving (even) an agnostic in awe.
The most amazing thing about this place is the hospitality and compassion you will witness, regardless of your nationality or belief.
It's also a great place for photographers who might want to capture a couple of frames of the vine-yards which surround the hill.
Need i remind you guys to be respectful enough to keep your flashes inactive whilst you are indoors? Some of the ikons are as old as 1000 years. You are likely to get this freaky feeling as though you can almost smell the years past by them, as you are discovering the dimmed chambers they are kept in.
Although it was like an owen outside, i can remember how we shivered while wandering the chapel. but this might as well be a side effect of the gloomy atmosphere lit by candlelights and torches =)
briefly, prepare yourself for an unforgettable spiritual experience guided by incredibly noble-minded human beings.
'would love to add photos, but the only thing i had back then was a half working videocamera. =(
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