Khenchara is the home of the Melchite Catholic the Monastery
of St. John of Chouweir or Deir et-Tabcheh, founded 1696-97.
The oldest of its three churches is dedicated to St. John the
Baptist and dates to the 12th century. There is also the 18th
century church of Saint Nicolas, with its beautiful
iconostatis of wood.
In addition to its magnificent collection
of icons and an excellent library, the monastery is the site
of the Middle East's first Arabic Printing Press, whose
original publication appeared in 1734. A five-room museum
displays the old presses and some 450 related objects and
pieces of equipment. Founder of the press, Abdallah el-Zakher
from Aleppo, built the oldest machine between 1726 and 1733.