Qozhaya (Syriac: ܕܝܪܐ ܕܡܪܝ ܐܢܛܘܢܝܘܣ ܩܘܙܚܝܐ, Arabic: دير مار أنطونيوس قزحيا), also transliterated Qazahya is located in the Zgharta District in the North Governorate of Lebanon. It belongs to the Lebanese Maronite Order known as Baladites.

دير مار أنطونيوس قزحيا
The Monastery of Qozhaya - July 2003
The Monastery of Qozhaya - July 2003
Map showing the location of Qozhaya within Lebanon
Map showing the location of Qozhaya within Lebanon
Location within Lebanon
Coordinates: 34°16′59″N 35°56′50″E / 34.28306°N 35.94722°E / 34.28306; 35.94722
Country Lebanon
GovernorateNorth Governorate
DistrictZgharta District
664 m (2,178 ft)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Dialing code+961

Monastery of Saint Anthony of Qozhaya Edit

It is dedicated to Saint Anthony the Great. It is commonly called Qozhaya, in reference to the valley in which it is located. The valley of Qozhaya, along with the valley of Qannoubine (Arabic: قنوبين) to which it is connected to the west, form what is called the valley of Qadisha .

Etymology Edit

The etymology of the name Qozhaya varies according to the opinions of scholars. However, in recent years the Syriac origin was most commonly adopted, and approximately translates to the treasure of life.

History Edit

The monastery in the 1780s, by Louis-François Cassas.

Qozhaya is considered to be one of the oldest monasteries of the valley of Qadisha. It was founded during the roman empire last centuries in Roman Phoenicia.

Historians and scholars suppose that this Monastery was first built and began to be occupied by hermits at the beginning of the fourth century. It was several times looted, set on fire and razed to the ground, but there still remain vestiges dating back to the seventh century.[1]

Several hermitages are attached to it; and at a certain period (probably the 12th Century AD) it has been the See of the Maronite Patriarch.

In 1584, the first printing press of the Middle East was installed in this monastery, under the leadership of patriarch Yuhanna Makhlouf. In 1610, The press printed a bilingual Psalter in a small folio of 260 pages. The psalms are arranged in two columns, on the right is the text in Syriac and on the left in Arabic, but written in Syriac letters, which is known as Garshuni.

In 1708, it was handed down to the newly formed Lebanese Maronite Order. It still belongs to this important Order. Qozhaya was at its pinnacle in the first part of the 19th Century with more than 300 monks belonging to it.

With its large properties in the valley, in Ain-Baqra and in Jedaydeh, Qozhaya is one of the richest monasteries of the Order. It contributes financially to the maintenance of the less fortunate monasteries of the Order.

What to see Edit

  • The Grotto of Saint Anthony the Great
  • The Church
  • The Museum
  • The Library
  • The Hermitage of Mar Boula

References Edit

External links Edit