Incense, faith and myth
At first glance, the modern orthodox convent of Our Lady could be mistaken for a crusader castle, especially if you see it at night. However, it is the site of one of the Middle East's most important Christian pilgrimages since a portrait of the Virgin Mary supposedly painted by St. Luke is hidden within its walls. At the time of the Crusades, Seidnayya was considered the second most important Christian city in the region, after Jerusalem. The worship of this icon continues today, and attracts both Christians and Muslims pilgrims. The shrine containing the relic is located in a dark room, which reminded me of similar mysterious rooms I'd seen in other parts of the world, namely South America.