Dar Mar Elia Monastery

Mosul, Iraq

Demolished 2014

The Disappointed Tourist: Dar Mar Elia Monastary, Ellen Harvey, 2021. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 18 x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

Dar Mar Elia or Dair Mar Elia‎, also known as Saint Elijah’s Monastery (Syriac: ܕܝܪܐ ܕܡܪܝ ܐܝܠܝܐ‎), was a Christian Monastery based just south of Mosul in Iraq. It was founded in the late 6th century, and it was one of the oldest monasteries in the country. It originally belonged to the Church of the East and then to the Chaldean Catholic Church. It ceased to function as a monastery in 1743, after its monks were massacred by Persian forces. Its ruins were damaged during the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States and it was later demolished by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in 2014. I don’t know the source of the image on which this painting is based.

I read about this in the newspaper. Anon.