Ma’lula is a village in southern Syria about 50 km north of Damascus. It is built into Al-Qalamoon
Mountains, and the houses are proficiently built on the slopes of a huge cirque of rocks that encloses the village. Ma’lula has two historical monasteries;
The first one is built in the fourth century and it is Saint Sergius & Bacchus monastery which has many priceless icons and elements which go back to the Byzantine period, such as the Byzantine church and Byzantine-period tombs cut into the rock behind. Saint Sergius was a Roman soldier who was executed for his Christian beliefs.
The second one is Saint Tacla monastery, who was one of the first saints in Christianity, and her remains lie in the monastery. There are numerous monasteries, churches, shrines and sanctuaries, some that lie in ruins, while others continue to stand, fighting age.
One of the special things about Ma’lula is its kind people, who until now still speak the language of Jesus Christ, Aramic. Along with the people in Sidnaya, which is a mountain city 1500 metres above sea level, it also is the home of a Greek Orthodox monastery that was built in the Byzantine era.
Sidnaya has been inhabited since the sixth century B.C, and it was an essential center of Christianity before it was adopted as the religion of the Roman Empire.
The convent of Sidnaya is an art piece, painted with the finest colors, painted by the best painters, it’s mind-blowing.