Melkite Catholic church separated from its Orthodox counterpart in the late 18th
century. In Beirut, the Orthodox community found itself suddenly divided, with
a growing number of adherents identifying as Greek Catholics.
On the site
where the Cathedral stands today, adjacent to the St. George Orthodox
Cathedral, Melkite Catholic monks from the Choueirite order had erected a convent
and a small church dedicated to the prophet Elijah (also known as St. Elias). In
1847, both structures were pulled down due to structural instability and the cathedral
was erected in their place in 1849 by bishop Agapios Riachi. Today, the St.
Elias Melkite Catholic Cathedral is the mother congregational church of the Melkite
Greek Catholic Archdiocese of Beirut and Jbeil.
Elias Melkite Catholic Cathedral underwent several renovations and expansions
throughout the early 20th century. It was badly damaged during the
Lebanese Civil War between 1975 and 1991. Between 2003 and 2006, it was restored
and expanded by Pierre Sabbag and Naji Assi Architects. A new bell tower was
added, as well as an underground reception area to serve the community.
Khalaf, Samir. Heart of Beirut: Reclaiming the Bourj, London: Saqi. 2006
كاتدرائية النبي إليا للروم الملكيين الكاثوليك (Original)