The South Wall

The high walls that surround the monastery were constructed in the sixth century. Soldiers were stationed nearby, to defend the monastery, which also served as a fortress.

Along the south wall, where the ground is higher, there are many arrow slit windows. These are narrow windows that open wider on the inside, allowing an archer to shoot arrows at an attacking force, with little chance of being struck himself. Above each of the lowest row of openings there is a carved cross.

The centre section projects beyond the rest of the wall, like a tower. The three carvings there are the most prominent.

The seven arrow slit windows to the left are surmounted by crosses of the same design.

The eight arrow slit windows to the right have smaller designs, each of which is different. These three photographs show some of the better preserved examples.

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