Work on the church commenced during the era of the crusaders in 1150, over the remnants of an idol worshipping temple, by the 1st Christian group after their expedition from Jerusalem and arriving to Asia Minor. In the 12th century, the church was damaged as a result of an earthquake which hit the region and several other conflicts and battles.
Over subsequent centuries, the structure and building was extended and improved making it a very interesting combination between Italian and Arab designs in addition to residue of byzantine mosaics from previous constructions dispersed around the area.
An astonishing and exceptional open air baptistery rests against the north wall, and its arches and supporting upright pillars are topped with a dome. Neighboring the church is the wax museum of Byblos which contains statues and life scenarios from the early Phoenician times until the modern age.