Dedicated to the early Christian martyr, St. George of Lydda (England's patron saint, a Roman soldier and martyr more ... More
St. George's Episcopal Cathedral
Dedicated to the early Christian martyr, St. George of Lydda (England's patron saint, a Roman soldier and martyr more often associated with dragon-slaying), the Cathedral is a neo-Gothic edifice that resembles Oxford's New College. In this compound, the Turkish governor surrendered to British General Allenby in 1918. Within the walls are St George's College, a guest house, and the Episcopal bishop's residence. This is a very active congregation, much involved in the Palestinian independence movement, peace and social justice issues.
At the end of a day of touring it was a pleasure to visit St. George's to soak up a different sort of culture and history in a peaceful setting. There are many things to explore. Plaques on the exterior walls tell of a family of parishioners of yesteryear whose military son, one of two sons who had erected another plaque in honor of their mother, died quite young. Cushions on the chairs inside are handmade from various places, perhaps in the UK.
Unfortunately evening prayer time (6 P. M.) is held when most tourists are dining and, apparently, the local congregation's members are also taking their evening meal. I am glad that I was free to attend vespers during my last two nights in town. Being a Christian, I appreciate getting together with others to pray and ponder the things of the God of the Holy Bible.
The cathedral is about a 15 minute walk to the Damascus Gate. On this walk the Arab world comes alive and is yours to enjoy. I hope that you can take your time apart from the tour group hustle. I especially enjoy meeting residents when I travel, which is in part why I like this location so much.
There is a Pilgrim Guest House in this compound.
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