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Toula: the humble village, setting new horizons in new times

3. Art

There are several items which fall in this category.

1. The beautiful stone church of the village which is dedicated to St Assia.  The style of the church incorporates the round Romanesque arch, which is found in Byzantine and western European architecture of the mediaeval period, and the pointed Gothic arch which is found in western Europe.  The bell tower is of a style found, in addition to Lebanon, in various parts of the eastern Mediterranean, such as in Greece.  Indeed, in the region of Toula, there are other significant religious buildings of similar style, such as the famous monastery of St Anthony of Qozhaya, which is also influenced by these architectural styles.  Source: Nicholas Hardwick

2. A painting of St Assia hangs above the altar in the church of St Assia in Toula.  We are still researching the artistic style and date of this painting, but it could very well date from the 15th-18th century and may be of a style influenced by Italian art. We remember that the Venetians were influential in the Levant during the early part of this time and they thus brought Lebanon into contact with the important schools of Italian art of the Renaissance, and there were further contacts with Italy in later periods.  Source: Nicholas Hardwick