Situated 85 Km south of Damascus is the town of Izraa'. This town is known for its two churches dating back to the 6th century, which are considered as the oldest continuously used churches in Syria.
Izraa' was quite an important city in the Roman period, and later became a center of Christian importance.
St. George's church was built in 515 on the site of a previous temple; a Greek inscription on its western entrance says: The House of Evil was turned into the House of God. Hymns of cherubs replaced sacrifices offered to idols and God settles here in peace, where people used to anger him.
The church, made of basalt, is considered one of the main monuments of world Church architecture. After an earthquake in the early 20th century seriously damaged the church’s dome, St. George's is thought to be the oldest building in Syria which has been continuously a site of Christian (Greek Orthodox) worship. For this reason it was visited in 1890 by Nicholas II, the last Emperor of Russia when he was Crown prince; the prince financed the construction of the current dome.