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The Coptic Convent and Church of St. Mary


During the rule of Sultan Mohammed Ali Basha in 1830, the Coptic community thrived in Palestine, paving the way for the Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria to have a resident archbishop as his official representative in Jerusalem. The Coptic Convent and the Orthodox Church of St. Mary are located in the Milk Grotto Street, just a few minutes’ walk from the Church of the Nativity. They were established during the 1950’s by Bishop Yacobos of Jerusalem, who purchased four homes close to one another and transformed one of them into the Coptic Church of St. Mary, and designated the remaining spaces to build a convent for the Coptic nuns. Today, both humble sites are managed and maintained by only two nuns, who are also renowned for their artistic talents in creating beautiful and colourful hand-painted Coptic and Byzantine icons, women’s scarves, and garments for the deacon, among other items.

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