Mar Qayuma Monastery

Useful Information

Location: Betanure, Kani Masi Subdistrict, Amadiya District, Duhok Governorate, Iraqi Kurdistan Region.
(37.23175, 43.47003)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SubterraneaCave Church
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Mar Qayuma Monastery,
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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4th century monastery founded.
909 church of Mar Gewargis built.
1610 becomes the seat of the Church of the East diocese of Barwari.


Mar Qayuma Monastery or Mār Qayyōma is located in the village Dooreh in Dohuk Governorate in Kurdistan Region. The monastery was founded in the 4th century. The church of Mar Gewargis was built in 909. It was first mentioned in the 10th century biography Life of Rabban Joseph Busnaya. It became the seat of the Church of the East diocese of Barwari in 1610.

The town Dooreh was Christian, had 20 to 40 families during the mid 19th century and two churches with four priests. During the 20th century the village was destroyed and resettled several times, it was the home of Assyrian refugees, and finally in the 1990s the church was rebuilt. In 2011 the village was inhabited by 250 adherents of the Assyrian Church of the East, but in 2012 it was struck by Turkish airstrikes as part of the Kurdish–Turkish conflict. However, the various military attacks with napalm, rockets, and shells, the expulsion of the inhabitants, as well as the reconstruction of the whole village financed by foreign countries and Christian organizations, is quite difficult to understand.

The monastery is actually a single building built into an overhanging cliff in a valley, a few hundred meters north of the village. It is reached on a walking trail. There is not much development for tourists, a result of the ongoing war-like situation. As far as we know, there is no tourism currently, not even domestic. It seems during the last reconstruction the cave monastery was also renovated, the reason for this is nevertheless unknown.