The Monastery of St. Paul (often referred to as the Monastery of the Tigers), is a Coptic Orthodox monastery that dates back to the 4th. Century. It was originally built by a group of hermits around the cave, which was St. Paul’s home for 90 years.
What remained of the monastery complex was renovated in 1997, conserving the mill building, refectory and the enclosure walls. Then, in 2001 further work was started in order to preserve the entire church and many of its unique paintings.
Today, visitors are able to wander freely around the monastery, but many prefer to join a guided tour with an English-speaking monk as he has access to areas that would otherwise not be open to the public. The monastery has four churches, including the underground Church of St. Paul where the hermit lived and was buried. The murals on the walls depict biblical stories and interestingly, ostrich heads hang from the ceiling as symbols of the resurrection.