Do you know of a single place on earth where Aramaic is still spoken? In the village of Maaloula, this so-called Afro-Asian language is still spoken. It is also in Maaloula that one can see one of the oldest churches in the world.
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This small town located 80 km northeast of Damascus in Syria is worth a detour for a half-day excursion, during a stay in Lebanon, if possible.
Renowned for its very old churches and its exceptional geographical location, Maaloula looks like a small cloud resting in the middle of a green valley. Visitors often keep this village, its magnificent troglodyte refuges as well as its blue stone houses.
At first sight, Maaloula looks like an immense cliff from the top of which culminates the Saint-Serge monastery. It is here that one of the oldest churches in the world is located, erected in 325.
Along with the other monastery placed under the protection of Sainte-Thècle, located below, Maaloula was one of the largest and most frequented places of pilgrimage for Eastern Christians.