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Amioun, a northern village in Koura district, is a very old settlement whose history can be traced back to the Paleolithic period. This is supported by the number of small caves built in the old city’s rocks. In the past years, a number of French and German orientalists – foremost of whom was the Frenchman Ernest Renan – visited it, studied its archaeological sites and wrote about them. The ancient Semitic peoples are thought to have arrived in the region around 4000 B.C.

saint john church, amioun

saint john church, amioun

Amioun’s past has left its mark on different historical periods, whether ancient, medieval, or modern. Some of its monuments can be traced back to a period when different pagan religions prevailed. With the advent of Christianity, the pagan temples in Amioun were eventually transformed into churches.

saint john church, amioun

 

saint john church, amioun

Saint John “al-sheer” church: Elevated on a rocky cliff over a number of vaults in the southeastern facade of the cliff. A Triple scene of a Crusaders church (1099–1100) panoramic over the 28 man-made crypts in the facade whose carbon-dating suggests 15,000–24,000 years of age.