Deir Mar Elia

The monastery is in northern Iraq, located 6km southwest of Mosul.

It is under the cared of the Chaldean Church (previously The Church of the East)

Deir Mar Elia is in a beautiful setting surrounded by several hills. The entrance is a large stone arch which is what remains of the original church. Pilgrims from the city of Mosul and the various Nineveh villages visit the monastery during Mar Elia holiday which occurs on a Wednesday at the end of November. Today it consists of a church, built from remnants of the original monastery church, a few halls and rooms re-built during World War I and used as refuge.

It has a large water reservoir that collects the winter rains, a natural mineral water spring, and the al-Sahl water spring which is well known in the area.

Mar Elia entered the monastic life at a monastery in Turkey. He established his monastery during the reign of the Persian King Hurmizd IV before 595 AD. After many years the responsibility of caring for the monastery was given to Mar Elia's nephew, Khnanisho. During the 17th century a local resident by the name of Hurmizd Alqushnaya renovated the monastery. It remained to be a successful center of Christianity until 1743 when the Kurdish leader Tahmaz Nadir Shah destroyed it.

The beginning of the 20th century brought much interest in the monastery and parts of it were renovated. The number of visitors fell again when a military compound (Mu'askar al-ghazlani) was built near the site a few decades later.

Currently there are no clergy residing in the monastery.