Set in a lovely public garden shaded by pines and cypresses in the Katamon neighborhood of West Jerusalem, this monastery is built over the tomb of Simeon, the devout Jerusalemite who met Joseph and Mary in the Temple where they brought Jesus as an infant, and who took Jesus in his arms and prophesied salvation (Luke 2:25-32).
According to an inscription in Greek over the doorway, this two-story domed complex was built in 1859 and took more than 20 years to complete. Scholars say an inscription in a cave on the grounds indicates it was the tomb of Simeon’s priestly forbears. The monastery gave its name to the neighborhood surrounding it – Katamon comes from the Greek meaning “near the monastery.”
A major battle took place around the monastery during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence, commemorated by a monument in the park.
To visit the monastery, call ahead at +972-(0)2-679-0477.