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 Haglili, an Israeli native who decided to dedicate his life to share my knowledge about the Holy Land to those that are interested to know more about this amazing piece of land. My career as a private tour guide started at the International School For the Studying of the Holocaust and the rest is history.

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 in Tel Aviv


Tel Dothan

Tel Dothan is where Joseph was sold by his brethren to the Ishmaelite merchants And he was taken to Egypt! Join me on a tour ...

Hamat Gader

Hamat Gader is known for its natural beauty, hot springs, and ancient historical sites, making it a must-visit for anyone touring Israel.

Pater Noster Church

The Pater Noster Church is located on the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem. stands right next to the ruins of the Byzantine Church of Eleona

The Memorial to the Deportees

The Memorial to the Deportees was established at Yad Vashem as a monument to the millions of Jews herded onto cattle cars and transported from ...


The city of Bethlehem is probably one of the most renowned cities in the Judeo-Christian world. Mainly for the Birthplace of Jesus and David.

Hurva Synagogue

The Hurva Synagogue, also known as Hurvat Rabbi Yehudah he-Hasid, is a historic synagogue located in the Jewish Quarter in Old Town Jerusalem

The Palmach Museum

The Palmach Museum is an innovative museum that is dedicated to the Palmach; the fighting force of the pre-state paramilitary Haganah!

Saint John the Baptist Church

The Saint John the Baptist Church is a church located in Old Town Acre in the Galilee region, one of the most beautiful regions in ...

Ilan Ramon Memorial and Museum

The Ilan Ramon Memorial and Museum is dedicated to the memory of Ilan Ramon, Israel's first astronaut, who died in the Space Shuttle Columbia

Mount Gerizim

Mount Gerizim is the holiest mountain for the Samaritans. They see Mount Gerizim as the holy place chosen by God Not Temple Mt. in Jerusalem

Need help?