This monastery is itself a museum of manuscripts, crosses and khatchkars. But Bzommar also contains two museums and a priceless library with illuminated Armenian manuscripts and Syriac and garshouné works. There are even ancient Coptic manuscripts on papyrus, as well as collections of rare Armenian, Hellenic and Seljuk coins. In addition to mitres, crosses, crucifixes and chalices, the permanent exhibition offers the public pagan sculptures from Greek, Armenian-Urtarian, Egyptian and, of course, Phoenician antiquities, some of which were discovered at the site of Bzommar.
Along with Yerevan and Echmiadzin in Armenia, Jerusalem in the Holy Land, San Lazaro in Venice, the Monastery of the Mekhitarists in Vienna and the Armenian Catholicossate in Antelias, Bzommar offers one of the richest and most interesting museum-libraries of Armenian culture, spirituality and art.
The author of the articles Dr. Amine-Jules Iskandar is an Architect DPLG from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Versailles. He got his DEA in Sacred Art from the USEK (Kaslik) University, and his Doctorate (PhD in 2018) from the Lebanese University.
He is specialized in history of Lebanese architecture and Syriac-Maronite heritage. Since 1995, he is teaching architecture design at the Institute of Fine-Arts and Architecture of the Lebanese University.
Dr. Amine-Jules Iskandar is the author of several articles, TV reportages, conferences and books about architecture and Syriac-Maronite culture.
Below is the list of his published books:
- La Nouvelle Cilicie (Armenian presence in Lebanon and its architectural heritage from antiquity to our days). Published by the Armenian Catholicossat of Kilikia, Antélias, Lebanon, 1999, 144 p.
- Temples en blanc (Phoenician temples of the roman period in the Lebanon and the Beqaa)
- La dimension syriaque dans l’art et l’architecture au Liban
- Publication with the Syriac Culture Comity, of the book: Syriac without a Teacher, Lebanon, 2006.
- Épigraphie syriaque au Liban. Volume 1 (Stone Syriac and Garshouné inscriptions in Lebanon)
- Épigraphie syriaque au Liban. Volume 2 (Syriac epigraphs in Lebanese architecture)