What looks like just another humble Greek Orthodox Church from outside, holds a treasure of early Christianity inside its premises. St. George Church is not just another place in Madaba where mosaics were discovered. During a construction project going on 1884, the builders came across an extraordinary ‘mosaic map’ of Bible Lands from Lebanon to Egypt, underneath all the rubble, which had survived malicious destruction, fire and neglect.
History of the Map
Originally, the map’s making was finished in 542 AD. At that time it was about 20 meter in length and 6 meter wide and comprised of more than 2 million pieces. One part of the map that depicted Jesus as the son of God, walking on the sea, offended certain religious fanatics and thus they vandalized that part. Today what remains is merely a fraction of it, yet its significance is immense.
Building of the Church
Greek Orthodox Church of St George was built on this land, encompassing the map, in 1896. Apart from preserving the remaining map, the purpose of establishing this church was to celebrate the story of St. George slaying a dragon. A 500 years old painting depicts this episode, which also substantiates the fact that humans and dinosaurs co-existed.
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