Dair Mar Elia (Saint Elijah's Monastery)

Mosul Travel Blog

 › entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
No bus, no problem. Gama, McBride, and Johnson get to know each other better.

Howdy everyone! Let me tell you all about my trip to Saint Elijah's Monastery located in northern Iraq, near the city of Mosul. The following excerpt is from wikipedia.

The monastery was founded around 595 AD by Mar Elia, an Assyrian Christian monk who had previously studied at al-Hirah and later in the great monastery at Ezla Mountain in Turkey. It was later claimed by the Chaldeans. The monastery was the center of the regional Christian community, and for centuries thousands of Christians would visit the monastery to observe the Mar Elia Holiday, which falls on the last Wednesday of November. The monastery was renovated in the 17th century by Hurmizd Alqushnaya. In 1743, the Persian leader Tahmaz Nadir Shah ordered the destruction of its property and the death of the monks who dwelled there.

Found a bus! much better.
The monastery laid in ruins until the beginning of 20th century, when some restoration was completed on a few halls and rooms. The structure, along with its neighboring reservoir and natural mineral water springs, were cared for by the Chaldean Church, and Christian pilgrims continued to visit the ruins.

During the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Iraqi army used the monastery as a command post. Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division met the Iraqis here and engaged them. As you'll see in the videos and as told by SPC Chan, rumor has it that a part of the monastery wall was damaged due to a turret of an Iraqi tank slamming into it after it exploded. The monastery itself suffered some more damage from small arms fire, as well as being defaced by both the Iraqi soldiers as well as American soldiers.

Monastery
When military chaplains from the 101st realized what the ruins acutally were, they had the soldiers move out of the ruins and had the monastery protected from further harm. The monastery is now located within the perimeter of Foward Operating Base Marez and is under the watchful eyes of the units that occupy the base.

It was amazing to see that the monastery was in such good shape, even after having a tank turret slam into it. I know that the monastery is not something everyone can come and see so hopefully my videos can help you feel like you're here. I tried to pull any videos that are a bit crude, but one or two might have slipped in. Sorry in advance! If you have ever been in the military, you know how we are =) Videos will be up as soon as I can upload them.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
No bus, no problem. Gama, McBride,…
No bus, no problem. Gama, McBride…
Found a bus! much better.
Found a bus! much better.
Monastery
Monastery
The symbol SPC Chan is talking abo…
The symbol SPC Chan is talking ab…
Wall that was damaged by the tank …
Wall that was damaged by the tank…
Some more of the monasterys wall.
Some more of the monastery's wall.
Tank turret damaged wall of the mo…
Tank turret damaged wall of the m…
Hole possible used to heat metal u…
Hole possible used to heat metal …
Murray and McBride get ready to as…
Murray and McBride get ready to a…
Graffiti possibly by the Iraqi arm…
Graffiti possibly by the Iraqi ar…
Inside the monastery, wall that wa…
Inside the monastery, wall that w…
Bullet holes
Bullet holes
Jack McBride - Tour Guide.
Jack McBride - Tour Guide.
getting ready to leave the gate f…
Getting ready to get off the bus
The start of the tour of the mona…
Part 2 of the tour of Saint Elija…
Part 3 of the tour of Saint Elija…
Part 4 of the tour of Saint Elija…
Part 5 of the tour of Saint Elija…
Part 6 of the tour of Saint Elija…
Getting ready to get off the bus
getting ready to leave the gate f…
Sponsored Links
Mosul
photo by: homeres