This Syriac Orthodox monastery is one of the oldest functioning monasteries in the world. Perched on a hilltop, the monastery was built in 397 with a financial benefaction from the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius.
Various additions have been made over the years. The mosaics on the floor and ceiling of the apse of the main church are the finest surviving examples of eastern Byzantine mosaics.
The octagonal Dome of Theodora was built with a benefaction from the wife of Justinian, who visited the monastery. Built in the first half of the 5th century, the domed structure is thought to have originally served as a baptistery.
In addition to the main church, the monastery has three other churches dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the Kırk Şehitler (Forty Martyrs) and Mor Simeon, one of the founders of the monastery.
The Mor Simeon Church houses an octagonal mausoleum known as the Tomb of the Egyptian Monks as well as three burial chambers. The monastery was restored to its original condition in 1997.