Close this search box.

Saint Nicholas Monastery Jaffa

Christian sites in israel

Saint Nicholas Monastery Jaffa is an Armenian monastery built in the first millennium CE. Located in Old Jaffa, near the harbor and facing the Mediterranean; the monastery consists of a large multi-story complex that includes an Armenian church and living quarters. The monastery is under the jurisdiction of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem who rents out parts of the complex for residential and commercial purposes. Moreover, the monastery is the setting of the ‘Bonaparte Visiting the Plague Victims of Jaffa’; a painting by Antoine-Jean Gros depicting Napoleon visiting his sick soldiers in the monastery’s courtyard.

The History of Saint Nicholas Monastery Jaffa

Probably the monastery was founded before 1000 CE; the monastery was named for Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors. Furthermore, the church gave shelter to pilgrims and seamen looking for a rest on their journey for many centuries. In the 18th century, the monastery was expanded and fortified. During the Napoleonic Campaign in Egypt, the French army requested the aid of the Armenian priests at the monastery. Apparently, the clerics used their secret medicines to cure some of the soldiers. Napoleon personally thanked the Armenian patriarch and gifted him with his own tent and sword. In addition, his visit to the monastery was depicted in the Bonaparte Visiting the Plague Victims of Jaffa painting by Antoine-Jean Gros. You can see the painting below.

Jaffa Clock Tower

Ramesees II Gate 
In This Photo: The Clock Tower Sq. At Old Town Jaffa

So in the painting, Napoleon is seen standing proud among his soldiers and touching his left hand on the chest of one of the patients. In fact, Gros never visited Jaffa so he painted it and the monastery as he imagined it. So in the distant background, Jaffa is described as an eastern city whose houses reach up a hill, and in the near background are the arches of the monastery designed by Gros in an Oriental and Moorish style. The arches are part of an arcade enclosing an inner courtyard of the monastery. The painting is now kept in the Louvre Museum in Paris.


Hi! My name is Arik, an Israeli native who dedicated his life to sharing my passion for the Holy Land with those interested in knowing more about this incredible piece of land. I’m the Chief Guide at ‘APT Private Tours in Israel’.

Did you know the Hoopoe is Israel's national bird?! For more cool info about Israel, join our ever growing community and get exclusive travel tips, and giveaways!

Bauhaus architecture in Tel Aviv


Eshtaol Forest

Spanning approximately 1,200 hectares north of Beit Shemesh; the Eshtaol Forest is one of the largest forests in Israel and is a great place to ...

Megiddo National Park

Megiddo National Park is one of three Biblical Tels in Israel that was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO!

Ein Hod Artists Colony

Ein Hod Artists colony is a unique community whose residents are artisans and leading figures in the local culture. Definitely worth a visit!

Tel Aviv Architecture

Tel Aviv's architecture is a blend of innovation, heritage, and urban elegance, from the iconic "White City" and its Bauhaus buildings.

Israeli Air Force Museum

The Israeli Air Force Museum (or in short the IAF Museum) in the Negev Desert houses hundreds of models of fighter jets that served in ...

Qafzeh Cave

Qafzeh Cave is a prehistoric site in Lower Galilee  at the foot of Mount Precipice, The cave shows first evidence of symbolic behavior.

Mikveh Israel

Mikveh Israel was founded in 1870 by Charles Netter, as an agricultural school to teach a new way of life to the future Jewish farmers.

Khan al-Umdan

Khan al-Umdan was built in 1784 in the place of the Royal Customs house of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. A nice stop in Acre for ...

Robinson’s Arch

Robinson's Arch, dated to the 2nd Temple Period, is a remarkable archaeological remnant! A testament to ancient engineering prowess

Samaria (Sebast)

Ancient Samaria (Sebast), the capital of the Kingdom of Israel, is rich with archaeological remains worth visiting.

Need help?

Skip to content