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Mar Saba Monastery, Bethlehem

(120+ reviews on the web)
Religious Site
Reputedly the oldest continuously inhabited monastery in the world, Mar Saba Monastery hangs over a ravine from a cliff edge. The desert monastery started out in the 5th century as a series of hermits' caves; later, the Greek Orthodox Church built the monastery here, dedicated to those early monks' leader, St. Sabas. Current churches, chapels, and cells date back to 1834, when the monastery was restored after an earthquake. Compare the austerity of the living quarters to the splendor of golden icons adorning the walls of the churches. In keeping with an old tradition, only men may enter the monastery, while women can view it from a tower, allegedly built by the saint's mother. Using our world travel planner, Bethlehem attractions like Mar Saba Monastery can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Beautiful inside, marvelous sightseeing, free entrance, only men allowed. It's an orthodox convent located neat Bethlehem.  more »
  • The Monastery is set in amazing scenery, with paths and steps going down to the river, (badly poluted with rubbish from Jerusalem). The hills are an amazingly beautiful place to walk, with breathtakin...  more »
  • St. Sava's Monastery is in the middle of the desert of Judea, in an absolute arid area. From the 5th century, the monks here live in the most ascetic way (summer at temperatures of 50 degrees C, with ...  more »
Google
  • Stunning place, excellent welcome even if women stay at the gate, they get biscuits and drinks. But the chance to get a private car stolen outside is about 100%. Cross the Kidron valley by foot. Body of St Saba inside and St John of Damas.
  • A truely amazing destination in the heart of the Judean Desert!. Can only be reached by 4x4 or through Palestinian "Area A", but so deserves the effort!. Clinging to the cliff of the Kidron, the Mar Saba monastery is the best example of the Byzantine period Judean Desert monastic movement.
  • Beautiful scenery and very polite monks
  • Monastery complex with V. At the foot of the grave. John Chrysostom. Note, the absolute prohibition of access to women.
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  • An amazing place. This is a must see. Words cannot convey
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