Ancient Christian monastery site in Persian Gulf opened to publicGood for them. I hope that attitude spreads in Islamic countries in the Middle East.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Dec 16, 2010 / 01:47 am (CNA).- The remains of an ancient Nestorian Christian monastery and church on Sri Bani Yas Island in the United Arab Emirates have been opened for public viewing, providing an important glimpse into the pre-Islamic history of the region.
The site was unearthed in the early 1990s and is believed to be the only permanent settlement ever established on the island, which is 160 miles southwest of Abu Dhabi.
A multi-building compound on the eastern side of the island, the site is the only known pre-Islamic Christian site in the United Arab Emirates. According to Archaeology Daily, the complex includes monks’ cells, kitchens and animal pens surrounding a courtyard dominated by a church. At least eight houses have been unearthed.
The monastery is believed to have been an important destination for pilgrims traveling along a trade route to India.
Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, the chairman of the UAE’s Tourism Development and Investment Company, said they were “delighted” to open the ancient site to the public.
"We are proud of our heritage and are therefore focused on creating a multi-experience tourism destination where guests are able to enjoy a variety of activities, while protecting and preserving the history and culture of our country, as well as the natural environment of the island."
Thursday, December 16, 2010
An ancient Nestorian monastery in the UAE
AN ANCIENT NESTORIAN MONASTERY that lasted into the Islamic era is now open to the public in the UAE: