The Saint Georgios Orthodox Cathedral is the largest and the oldest Byzantine Orthodox Cathedral to be built in the city of Tripoli and in Lebanon as well. The structure of the cathedral makes it one of the masterpieces in the architecture of Christian sites of its time. The cathedral is located in the Dabbagha District near the Churches (Kanaes) Street and is situated on a driving line connecting the old and modern districts of Tripoli.
Location: Dabbaghah District.
Surface Area: 800 m2.
Commissioned by: Sophronius!
Historical Period: Byzantine.
Date of Construction: 1870 CE.
Construction of Saint Georgios Orthodox Cathedral began in 1863 CE and ended 10 years later. Construction of the main structure of the cathedral was probably complete in 1870 CE. The marble altar of the cathedral was erected in 1872 CE.
There is an inscription bearing the date of the cathedral's construction and the name of its builder "Sophronius" above the door. Sophronius, probably a fisherman, also devoted a neighboring piece of land to build his own grave.
The structure of Saint Georgios Orthodox Cathedral is distinguished by star-shaped round windows and a cone-shaped bell tower made of etched stone.
The Cathedral is built in an Orthodox cross shape line outline, topped by a 15-meter dome. Sandstone is the major material used is in the construction of the Cathedrla, similar to most historic monuments in Tripoli.
The facade is dominated by a huge marble portal with distinctive engravings and adornment, a sign of luxury and beauty. The dome of the church was larger, but it cracked and fell off more than once and was abridged to its current size in the early 20th century.
The church has two side entrances and two inner walls leading to a second floor bove the arches overlooking the main church hall.
Two huge wooden chairs - one larger than the other as a sign of importance - stand facing the middle temple, high off the ground; the right one is dedicated to the patriarch of the community and the left to the bishop. Two more distinct wooden chairs located farther to the right and left are dedicated to the Russian and Greek Consuls indicating a strong historical relationship with the two countries.
The cathedral houses magnificent icons, engravings and aesthetic adornments. The Iconostas is made of alabaster and finely-sculpted crowned columns. It includes various royal icons from the Jerusalem School, personally inscribed by Mikhail Mehanna AlQudsi in 1874 CE. One of the icons was inscribed by Bishop Partinios in 1764 CE and restored by Mikhail Polykronis Qerdly in 1817 CE.