Bab Tuma

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Bab Tuma (Arabic: باب توما, meaning: "Gate of Thomas") is a borough of the Old City of Damascus in Syria, one of the seven gates inside the historical walls of the city, and a geographic landmark of Early Christianity. It owes its name to Saint Thomas the Apostle, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ.


Bab Tuma gate in the Old City of Damascus, the capital of Syria.

Famous residents throughout its history include Saint Paul, the most notable of Early Christian missionaries (hence expressions such as "the road to Damascus experience"), Saint Thomas the Apostle himself who after lending his name to the neighborhood went on to explore India. Saint Ananias, French writer Alphonse de Lamartine, Greek Orthodox theologian Saint Joseph of Damascus, founder of the Damascus Patriarcal School, Saint Raphael of Brooklyn, the first Eastern Orthodox Bishop of New York City (sent there by the Czar Nicholas II of Russia in 1895), and Syrian-born philosopher Michel Aflaq, founder of the Ba'ath Party and ba'athist thought.

In the 16th century, following the conquest of Antioch and Andretta by the Ottoman Empire, the borough of Bab Tuma became the seat of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch and the Melkite Greek Catholic Church for the Northern Levant (Syria, Lebanon and Southern Turkey), as well as internationally for the Syriac Orthodox Church, with Cathedral of Saint George, since 1959.

Coordinates: 33°30′48″N 36°18′54″E / 33.51333°N 36.31500°E / 33.51333; 36.31500