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Deir Roukad el Sayydeh, Hamatoura - Kousba, el Koura
(North Lebanon)

 Outer View of the Covenant

 Inside the old Church

 Stairs to the new Church

 The Abbot ringing the Bell

Outer View
 Outer View

 Old Gate at the bottom of the Holy Mountain


 Stairs at the bottom of the Mountain

 The River down the Valley

More than 1000 Stairs to reach to Monastery
The Holy Monastery Icon showing the Holy Mountain and the Monasteries of the Mountain
View from the Stairs
Inside the Covenant
 Corridor inside the Covenant

The Old Church
 St. Michael's Church (The new Church of the Monastery)

Holy Dormition of the Theotokos Monastery - Hamatoura

Approaching the village of Kousba in the district of al-Kura, one may descend left to a hydroelectric station at the bottom of the Qadisha Valley, cross a footbridge over the fast-flowing river and climb a steep, winding path up the opposite slope. After forty minutes of strenuous walking, the visitor will reach the monastery of Our Lady of Hamatoura, perched on a great escarpment several hundred meters above the valley floor.
In the Syriac language, Hamatoura means 'protectress of the mountain', for there is a popular tradition that the Virgin Mary protects all inhabitants of the Qadisha (Sacred) valley, and the monastery itself is dedicated to the Virgin. Among the peaceful refuges of the valley, Hamatoura is one of the largest and most impressive. In this remote site, far from the dangers and temptations of the world, generations of Christian monks and hermits have lived in solitude, meditation and prayer.
The tranquil history of Hamatoura was broken by an entire century of abandonment from 1890 to 1990. But the monastery is now reviving, thanks largely to the enthusiasm and goodwill of its Abbot, Father Panthalemon Farah. In the last decade, monks from Lebanon, Syria and Jordan have come to settle at Hamatoura. Twelve monks live there now, all young and educated, and their number is expected to increase.
The monks live in a brotherly community where everybody does his part in a calm daily routine.

Hamatoura's origins are ancient. Father Panthalemon Farah places the foundation of the monastery church in the tenth century, and popular tradition dates it to the eighth century at least, and even to the fourth or fifth centuries. The Church altar is thought to have come from a Roman temple that may have originally occupied the site.
Such early dates cannot be confirmed, but there are several clear witnesses to the monastery in the Crusader period.
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