Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Fodor's Weekly: Your expert travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration (coming soon)

Jerusalem Sights

Ethiopian Monastery

  • Suq Khan e-Zeit
  • Christian Quarter
  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Updated 05/19/2013

Fodor's Review

Stand in the monastery's courtyard beneath the medieval bulge of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and you have a cross-section of Christendom. The adjacent Egyptian Coptic monastery peeks through the entrance gate, and a Russian Orthodox gable, a Lutheran bell tower, and the crosses of Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, and Roman Catholic churches break the skyline.

The robed Ethiopian monks live in tiny cells in the rooftop monastery. One of the modern paintings

in their small, dark church depicts the visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon. Ethiopian tradition holds that more passed between the two than is related in the Bible—she came to "prove" his wisdom "with hard questions" (I Kings 10)—and that their supposed union produced an heir to both royal houses. The prince was met with hostility by Solomon's legitimate offspring, says the legend, and the king was compelled to send him home—with the precious Ark of the Covenant as a gift. To this day (say the Ethiopians), it remains in a sealed crypt in their homeland. The script in the paintings is Gehz, the ecclesiastical language of the Ethiopian church. Taking in the rooftop view and the church will occupy about 15 minutes. The exit, via a short stairway to a lower level, deposits you in the courtyard of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

Read More

Sight Information


Suq Khan e-Zeit, on the roof of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem, Israel

Sight Details:

  • Free
  • Daily during daylight

Updated 05/19/2013


What's Nearby

  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Sights

See all sights in Jerusalem

Add Your Own Review

When did you go?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?




Don't Miss