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Saint Elias Greek Catholic Cathedral

  • religious site

Downtown, Beirut district

This cathedral is the first Armenian Catholic cathedral in Beirut. The construction of St Elias Cathedral began under the Armenian Catholic Archbishop in 1860 and is noted for its Byzantine architecture and beautiful oriental decoration. Located in Nijmeh Square, in downtown Beirut within Beirut Central District, the cathedral is well known for its neo-classical interior, its marble iconostasis which is a wall of icons and religious paintings separating the central area from the sanctuary, Gothic arches, and the celestial oculi, or circular openings. It was severely damaged during the civil war, due to its location directly along the green line. The archbishopric took control of it in the early 1990s and began restoration work. The church was destroyed several times in history, most notably when it was torn down to be expanded in 1901 and for the construction of the Saints' Convent in 1950.