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Mar Saba Monastery, Bethlehem

(4.7/5 based on 110+ reviews on the web)
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
  • The Monastery is not exactly part of Palestinian Territories. It is area "B", today. You can arrive from Bethlehem or hike a desert trip from Kedar South. Only men may enter into Mar Saba Monastery, o...  more »
  • I could be there thanks to the owner of the "Blessing gift shop and olive wood factory". I fully recomend this place, wonderful landscape of the Juda Desert and view of the Dead Sea...silence...monast...  more »
  • By taxi from Bethlehem to Mar Saba and back for about 40 euro. Great opportunity to enjoy the desert atmosphere with great views of cloister and buildings by nomadically influenced peoples on a short walk.
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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
  • Amazing and awe-inspiring monastery (in the desert). Askitikotato. Without electricity and water (except the holy water of St. Sava). Great miraculous Saint.
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  • Thank you precursor (pródromos)!
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