Monastery of Qozhaya
دير مار أنطونيوس قزحيا
|Elevation||664 m (2,178 ft)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
Qozhaya (Syriac: ܕܝܪܐ ܕܡܪܝ ܐܢܛܘܢܝܘܣ ܩܘܙܚܝܐ, Arabic: دير مار أنطونيوس قزحيا), also transliterated Qazahya is located in the Zgharta District in the North Governorate of Lebanon. It belongs to the Lebanese Maronite Order, known as Baladites.
Monastery of Saint Anthony of Qozhaya
It is dedicated to Saint Anthony the Great. It is commonly called Qozhaya, in reference to the valley in which it is located. The valley of Qozhaya, along with the valley of Qannoubine ( قنوبين )to which it is connected to the west, form what is called the valley of Qadisha .
The etymology of the name Qozhaya varies according to scholars. However, in the recent years, the Syriac origin was commonly adopted and gives the approximate meaning of the treasure of life.
Qozhaya is considered to be one of the oldest monasteries of the valley of Qadisha. Several hermitages are attached to it and at a certain period (probably the 12th Century AD), it has been the See of the Maronite Patriarch. In 1584, the first printing press of the Middle East was installed in this monastery.
In 1708, it was handed down to the newly formed Lebanese Maronite Order. It still belongs to this important Order. Qozhaya was at its pinnacle in the first part of the 19th Century with more than 300 monks belonging to it.
With its large properties in the valley, in Ain-Baqra and in Jedaydeh, Qozhaya is one of the richest monasteries of the Order. It contributes financially to the maintenance of the less fortunate monasteries of the Order.
What to see
- The Grotto of Saint Anthony the Great
- The Church
- The Museum
- The Library
- The Hermitage of Mar Boula