Saint Paul Church (كنيسة القديس بولس) is a Greek Catholic chapel constructed from the remains of Bab Kissan (باب كيسان), the historic southeastern gate to the old city of Damascus (دمشق). Except for a few stones incorporated into later constructions, nothing remains from the original Roman gate, which was once connected to Bab Touma (باب توما) by a cardo (north-south street).
Nur al-Din (نور الدين) had Bab Kissan (باب كيسان) sealed off in 1154 to better fortify the city against Crusader attacks. The gate was rebuilt in 1364, during the Mamluk period, and the present structure was built from those remains in the 20th century.
Saint Paul Church (كنيسة القديس بولس) is often associated with the story of Saul fleeing from Damascus (دمشق) to Jerusalem (Palestine). Despite local tradition, there is no historical evidence that this is the location where Saul was lowered from the city walls. The church has irregular opening hours, but the exterior is of greater architectural interest than the rather small and modest interior. While in the area, you may also be interested to trace the southern portion of the old city walls or visit the Christian cemetery to the southeast.
Getting There: Saint Paul Church (كنيسة القديس بولس) is located along the southeastern section of the old city walls, the entrance being reached from outside the old city. From the exterior of Bab Sharqi (باب شرقي), the eastern gate of the old city, follow the outer walls to the south, then southwest, and Bab Kissan (باب كيسان) will be on the right side.
Coordinates: 33°30’24.00″N / 36°18’56.00″E
Transliteration Variants: Bab Kaysan, Bab Kisan
Rating: (3.5 / 10)