Dair Mar Elia (Saint Elijah's Monastery)
Mosul Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.