On the western peak of Tell Iztabba, outside the city wall, was a small basilica shaped church with a single apse. To the north of the church there was another chapel that included a baptistery in its east and inscriptions in its floor. In front of the church was a narthex; the inscription found in its floor ascribes the second phase of the church to the Metropolitan Andras. The church, which was part of a monastic complex, was constructed at the end of the 4th century CE. When the city wall was erected at the beginning of the 5th century CE, the monastery, and the church on its grounds, remained outside the wall and for a period of time the monastery was connected to the city by way of a postern gate in the wall. The monastery and the church were most likely destroyed during the Samaritan revolt and were rebuilt inside the city wall.


The new church was larger and was also built in the basilica fashion whereby two rows of arches divided it into a nave and aisles. The three apses that were in the east formed a trefoil. The central apse contained a synthronum and bema, in the middle of which stood an altar. In the floor of the bema, which was paved with colored stone tiles, were the remains of a reliquary. Chancel screens consisting of columns and decorated marble slabs were built in front of the bema and the side apses. The northern apse contained a decorated coffin that was also made of marble. The coffin was probably previously located in the cellar of the main apse of the small church that was outside the city wall and was moved to the new church after the former was destroyed. A chancel screen decorated with a meticulously carved lace-like pattern adorned this apse.


A large chapel with a single apse was built on the northern side of the church. In front of the church was a narthex and a row of columns atop pedestals; their capitals were decorated with crosses. North of the church and next to the city wall were a kitchen and a dining room and the church was surrounded by the rooms of the monastery to which it belonged. All of the church’s mosaic floors were decorated with magnificent geometric guilloches and their edges were adorned with patterns of fruit and vegetables, flora, birds and peacocks, as well as panels depicting hunting scenes including realistic portrayals of animals, filled with creatures and motion. A fragmented mosaic inscription that was found in the narthex mentions a martyr whose name has either not survived or perhaps there was no need to note it. Based on the style of the mosaics and the inscriptions it seems the church should be dated to the middle of the 6th century CE and it is quite possible that it was built with the reconstruction funds that were allocated to the city by the emperor after the Samaritan revolt.