Founded in 547, the convent of Our Lady of Saidnaya is a leading Antiochian Orthodox nunnery, which overlooks a mountain village of the same name, just 35km from Damascus. The convent includes a school for orphans, whose costs are covered by private donations, according to a brochure distributed by the complex.
The nunnery is a major
pilgrimage center and lies not far from the villages of Jabadin and Maalula,
where people still speak Syriac, the modern version of Aramaic.