Trip Planner:   Middle East  /  Palestinian Territories  /  West Bank  /  Bethlehem  /  Religious Sites  /  Mar Saba Monastery
Mar Saba Monastery, Bethlehem
(4.9/5 based on 100 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
  • Our tour guide took us to see the monastery as the first part of our tour of the Bethlehem area. My wife and daughter could not enter but the area around it was beautiful. A region of desert canyons. ...  more »
  • The entrance allow only men. Admire the view of the monastery's site but I see and hermitages there. In the monastery you will see the tomb of Saint Sava.
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  • This was a very interesting Monastery in the middle of the wilderness. I must warn though that only men are allowed inside the Monastery. If you have the time, it is worth a few hours to get to the pl...  more »