Cells perched like eyries above the other buildings of the monastery

Ἀνέλαβον ὑμᾶς ὡσεὶ ἐπὶ πτερύγων ἀετῶν καὶ προσηγαγόμην ὑμᾶς πρὸς ἐμαυτόν.

I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. (Exodus 19:4)

Sunrise Over Bell Tower and Minaret

Each morning, the first sunlight of a new day strikes the peaks of the mountains to the west of the monastery. As the sun rises higher in the sky, the bell tower and minaret stand out in silhouette. At last the sunlight reaches the monastery itself.


The East Wall

The east wall of the monastery in the morning sunlight. Small oratories with tiny windows built into the walls in the sixth century still connect to monks’ cells along the east wall.

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 […]