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Saint Georges Maronite Cathedral

Located in Emir Bachir Street (behind al-Amine Mosque), Saint-George Cathedral was built between 1884 and 1894. Just like many other buildings, this church was under renovation for many years. It was reopened to believers in 2000.

This cathedral was built according to the plans of the Italian architect Giuseppe Maggiore. It is a replica of “Sainte Marie Majeure” basilica in Rome, mainly with the façade, the architectural conception of a cross, and the coffer roof. It was consecrated by Monseigneur Youssef Debs in 1894 and restored for the first time in 1953, with important modifications (the transept was cut and lateral arcades were added).

In 1997, due to the request of Beirut Maronite archbishop Boulos Matar, the cathedral was back to its initial cross form, within the strict respect of the Renaissance style of that epoch: the transept was integrally reconstructed and the windows were raised. Above the central nave is a coffer roof with gilding and a double wood frame covered with golden leaves on beige colored fond.

The walls are decorated with a stucco and marble surface. Above the main altar, there is a baldachin with cable columns. Behind it, in the heart of the choir, is the “Cathedra”, the armchair that the Pope used during his visit to Lebanon.
After its restoration, this cathedral was consecrated by Cardinal Sfeir on April 24, 2000 (the Patriarchs of the East, the Apostolic Nuncio, Cardinal Lustiger, and the archbishop of Paris were present). Nowadays, this cathedral is entirely renovated. It is the main center of Beirut archbishop in the heart of the capital.


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