The modest Church of Saint John of Damascus (كنيسة القديس يوحنا الدمشقي) is a Greek Orthodox church dedicated to Youhana Mansour Bin Sarjoun (يوحنا منصور بن سرجون), one of the most important figures of the Eastern Christianity during the Umayyad period. Born to a prominent Christian family in 676, his father was an official responsible for tax collection under the Umayyad caliphate. Saint John of Damascus (القديس يوحنا الدمشقي), as he later became known, was famous for his religious and philosophical writing, both in Greek and Aramaic. His writings are still used in Greek Orthodox teachings today.
Ottoman officials granted this property to the Greek Orthodox Church in 1856, and the building was constructed shortly thereafter. While the church itself is relatively modern, it incorporates many traditional architectural styles. The design is a simple rectangular plan. The wood roof is supported by two rows of arches on square columns of basalt bricks, and the walls a combination of basalt and limestone. The wood carved iconostasis was made by local Damascene Christian artisans, and the floors are a mixture of marble and granite. There are windows on the upper levels. This church still serves the local community, but rarely receives visitors. If the church is closed, access may be able to be arranged through the nearby al-Mariyamiyeh Church (كنيسة المريمية).
Getting There: The Church of Saint John of Damascus (كنيسة القديس يوحنا الدمشقي) is located in the old city of Damascus (دمشق), approximately one hundred meters northeast of the more prominent al-Mariyamiyeh Church (كنيسة المريمية), the seat of the Greek Orthodox patriarchate. It is roughly two hundred meters north of Straight Street (الشارع المستقيم).
Coordinates: 33°30’38.00″N / 36°18’46.00″E
Transliteration Variants: al-Qadis Youhana al-Dimashqi Church
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