The digital documentation of the Ananias chapel was part of Project Anqa, a collaboration between CyArk, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), and Carleton University and funded by the UK based charity, Arcadia Foundation. Responding to the catastrophic loss of heritage in the Middle East, the project seeks to further protect monuments through training local heritage professionals in digital preservation techniques. In partnership with the UNESCO Office for Safeguarding Syrian Cultural Heritage, CyArk trained Syrian heritage professionals in Lebanon to carry out the digital documentation of six sites in Damascus.
Introducing Ananias Chapel
The Chapel of Saint Ananias, also known as the House of Saint Ananias, is a small underground chapel located in the ancient city of Damascus, Syria. The site is connected to the biblical story of Jesus’s disciple, Saul of Tarsus, later known as St. Paul the Apostle. Over many centuries, non-Christian rulers have continually destroyed the chapel, rebuilt as a pagan temple and mosque before Franciscans rebuilt it in 1814. The chapel consists of two small stone wall rooms with sparse furniture and decor. An altar sits at the end of the room in front of a short row of pews, reflecting the simplicity of early christian churches. The Chapel of Saint Ananias continues to hold services and is an important Christian pilgrimage site.
Ananias and Paul the Apostle
The stone walls of the second room are adorned with a series of images depicting the story of Saint Ananias and Paul the Apostle. According to the story, Ananias of Damascus baptizes Paul and his blindness is cured, compelling Paul’s conversion to Christianity. The connection of the Ananias Chapel to the story of St. Paul makes the site one of the most significant Christian spaces in Damascus.
Open Heritage 3D by CyArkCyArk
Data from this project is now freely available through Open Heritage 3D.
Download the data from this project.
About Open Heritage 3D
The mission of the Open Heritage 3D project is to:
● Provide open access to 3D cultural heritage datasets for education, research and other
● Minimize the technical, financial and legal barriers for publishers of 3D heritage data.
● Promote discovery and re-use of datasets through standardized metadata and data formats.
● Foster community collaboration and knowledge sharing in the 3D cultural heritage community.
● Share best practices and methodologies for the capture, processing and storage of 3D cultural heritage data
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This project was made possible through the generous support of the Arcadia Fund and the following partners:
UNESCO Office for Safeguarding Syrian Cultural Heritage