Mar Saba Monastery, Bethlehem

4.7
#2 of 8 in Historic Sites in Bethlehem
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. Make Mar Saba Monastery a centerpiece of your Bethlehem vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Bethlehem road trip planning tool .
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Mar Saba Monastery Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
142 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We were told that women can't go into the monastery. When we got there it was locked up for some occasion. So we walked to the right following the river. We got lovely photos, talked with a friendly s...  more »
  • ... the fathers and got a few very interesting answers; the place is where Saba lived in a cave, he was the chap who did not eat apples (plse do read story before you go..)  more »
  • I went with Finjan Alternative Travel. We did a 14 mile hike. It was beautiful and the hike although Long was very doable. The monastery is not open to women but the views coming in and out are wonder...  more »
Google
  • One od the oldes monastery in Holy Land , easy and nice walking path around canyon at the top off it with nice view od Monastery
  • The location of this place is amazing. Breathtaking
  • Man only monastery, a good advice would be to let your girls at the hotel in order to avoid waiting outside in the full sun.
  • Amazing view of the Judean Desert from the top. Only men can enter the monastery.
  • Be carefull thats banned for females to enter the monastry.You watch the monastry at the opposite hill especially on sunset,thats wonderful.Workers in monastry call you to leave the area you pretend to obey the rules.But enjoy the view with your friends.
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