Israel offers its visitors a variety of contrasting highlights: From the religious highlights of Jerusalem and the lowest place on earth at the Dead Sea, to the atmosphere of archaeological sites and modern cities, to the origins of faith.
Sanctuaries such as the Wailing Wall, the Baha’i Temple in Haifa or the city of mysticism, Safed, or attractions such as the Via Dolorosa, the hills of Galilee, the Dome of the Rock and much more. Israel is as famous for its waters as for its deserts. This contrast explains Israel’s engaging beauty. Here is our list of the 25 best places to visit in Israel.
Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. With more than 900,000 inhabitants, it is also the largest city in the country. It is about 5000 years old. It is mentioned by name in ancient Egyptian texts as early as the 2nd millennium BC. For more than two millennia it has been the cultural and political center of the Holy Land. Three world religions associate holy places with it. Millions of visitors every year are fascinated by the unique sights and the peculiar atmosphere of the city.
The Old City and the New City are clearly separated in Jerusalem, because large parts of the Ottoman city fortifications and walls with their moats and bastions are still preserved. So you have to go through one of the eight old city gates to enter the Old City. The old town is divided into a Muslim quarter, Christian quarter, Armenian quarter and Jewish quarter, some of which are clearly distinguished from each other by the inhabitants and their quarter culture. Just turning into another street can lead to a completely different world.
On the Temple Mount are holy sites of Islam. The Dome of the Rock, which domes the sacred rock where Abraham was to sacrifice his son Issak and from which the Prophet Mohammed is said to have leapt into the sky on a horse, as well as the famous Al-Aqsa Mosque, are among the holiest places in Islam, along with Mecca and Medina in Arabia.
On the edge of the Temple Mount stands the Wailing Wall, remains of the ancient Herodian Temple and one of Judaism’s most important holy sites.
Opposite the Temple Mount rises the Mount of Olives with the Church of Gethsemane, the Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene and numerous other churches. In between lies the Kidron Valley with ancient tombs.
Israel is a small country with a great history. Everywhere you come across traces of ancient cultures and historical events. The ancient ruins may seem inconspicuous at first glance. But when they begin to tell their story, one is moved by the fates that are connected with the place.
Megiddo, about 35 kilometers southeast of Haifa, is such a place steeped in history. Not only does the hill of ruins tell of thousands of years of Canaanite and Israelite settlement history. The view from the hill to the wide valley of the Jezreel plain also reveals that the land of great historical battles spreads here. The vast plain around Megiddo has been military staging ground for millennia, from biblical battles to the First World War. Megiddo is the Armageddon of John’s Revelation, the site of the decisive battle at the end of all time.
The ruins of Megiddo are part of a national archaeological-historical park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site includes a museum where the history of the site and the historical events of the region are vividly discussed to the visitor.
23. Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv is the second largest city in Israel and the cultural and commercial capital of the country. Tel Aviv, the Mediterranean capital, is a city with a smart attitude and cultural flair. Whether you are interested in the architecture or the beach, there are many Tel Aviv attractions that you must visit.
Tel Aviv is a center for nightlife, cuisine, culture and liberalism. Tel Aviv is located on the Mediterranean Sea with long sandy beaches on one side and glass towers on the other, home to technology companies in what is considered the second most high-tech region in the world.
The cultural scene in Tel Aviv is equally diverse. There are theaters, dance centers and concert halls all over the city. The city regularly hosts international musicians who give concerts and hold other events in Israel.
Tel Aviv, with its golden beaches and lively cosmopolitanism, is the most modern metropolis in Israel. Most visitors come here to soak up the sun and shop till they drop in pretty boutiques and enjoy food in the city’s renowned café and restaurant scene.
Jesus of Nazareth – The name of the Messiah and the name of his boyhood town remain eternally linked. Today Nazareth is one of the most important places of pilgrimage in Christianity. The main attraction is the Church of the Annunciation with the Grotto of the Virgin Mary.
Nazareth is located in the heart of Galilee. To the northwest spreads the Jezreel Plain. About 30 kilometers to the northeast is the Sea of Galilee. To the coast to Akko and Haifa it is about 40 kilometers. The landscape is green and hilly.
Without the historical and religious link with the person of Jesus, the place of Nazareth would never have acquired its present significance. For before the New Testament came into being, there is no documentary or other written evidence of the city. This changed only with Christianity. Pilgrimage had caused Nazareth to grow. Through the construction of numerous churches and monasteries and the flow of pilgrims arriving every year, the village became a small town that has survived the last two thousand years with ups and downs.
Nazareth is not only the place of Jesus’ childhood, but also the place of the announcement of his arrival. According to Christian belief, the archangel Gabriel had appeared to the young woman Mary (Luke 1:26-38), who, as God’s messenger, he announced to her the conception and birth of the Savior.
21. En Avdat Nature Park
En Avdat Nature Park is located near Sde Boker and is part of the Zin Desert in the Northern Negev. Water has cut a deep, wide gorge into the white, soft limestone over thousands of years. The rock layers rise almost vertically, a narrow rivulet runs through the lower part of the canyon, in the middle part a large pool suddenly opens up in a side arm, fed by a small waterfall. Most of the water, however, penetrates invisibly through rock cracks and fills the pool. This huge amount of water, even at temperatures above 40 ° Celsius, seems like a constant watering place for desert animals, even though it smells slightly musty and is not suitable as drinking water. Many small animals live in it, including small crabs.
During a hike, dry shrubs and trees predominate En Avdat, at points lush green vegetation covers the area, this is then an indication of at least one rivulet making its way to the bottom of the basin. At mid-height, a narrow black flint rock line runs along both sides of the gorge, as if painted by human hands. At the back of the gorge, a hiking trail leads past caves that were inhabited by monks during the Byzantine period.
20. Dead Sea
Nowhere in the world can you experience – in such beautiful surroundings – the feeling of being carried so safely by the water. The salt content is between 28 and 33 percent, which is the same as brine. That is why bathers should not spend more than 30 minutes a day in the water. The term swimming would be inappropriate because normal swimming in the usual sense is not possible. Rather, one moves through thick water that feels oily between the fingers.
Sinking is out of the question, because the body floats upwards by itself in this enormous salt content. And this already happens when you go in. From a certain depth, you lose the ground under your feet due to buoyancy and fall shallowly into the water, only to paddle through the water as a human cork.
At some bathing places you can find chicken egg sized salt crystal balls on the ground, which have uniqueness as a free souvenir. The mineral-rich haze over the lake, the black mud and the water have a healing effect on joints and the skin. There is also a five percent higher oxygen content.
Among the most beautiful and worth seeing archaeological sites in Israel is Caesarea Maritima, a ruined city from the time of the Romans and Crusaders, declared a National Park. The site is picturesquely located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
The ruined site of Caesarea is well prepared for tourism. The walk through the archaeological park combines the atmosphere of a large open-air museum with that of a recreational facility, including a café, restaurant, secured paths and a view of the open sea. From the point of view of construction history, three city walls have been identified. The outer one dates back to the late Byzantine period. In this period the city had the highest number of inhabitants and the largest extension. The middle one was built at the time of King Herod. Only partial sections of both city wall rings have been excavated and explored. Only little of these wall sections can be seen today. The areas in between are used for agriculture today.
Located in the area of the archaeological park and much more impressive and better preserved, especially at the city gate, is the inner city wall, which dates back to the Crusader period. With a length of about 1.2 kilometers, this medieval wall covered a much smaller area than the ancient walls. On the other hand, it was much more powerful in terms of fortification. With its projections and recesses and massive bastions, its architecture was based on the city fortifications of Constantinople, which were exemplary at the time. The Roman theater stands in the very south of the site. The semicircular spectator stand has been extensively restored and is now used for cultural events and music festivals.
18. Ramon Crater
In the middle of the Negev desert lies the huge crater Makhtesh Ramon. But not only its size with an extension of up to 40 kilometers or its depth with almost 400 meters is impressive, but also its formation.
Unlike almost all other craters in the world, it was not formed by a volcano or a meteorite, but by erosion and collapsing cavities, making it a unique geological phenomenon worldwide.
Only five other craters in the Negev in Israel and two craters in Sinai in Egypt share this characteristic.
Besides the crater itself, there are various sights and great hiking trails in and around it, with the small town of Mitzpe Ramon on the northern rim of the crater being a wonderful starting point.
With about 270,000 inhabitants, Haifa is the third largest city in Israel after Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. It is a modern industrial, port and commercial city, an important center of the Israeli economy. Its port is the largest in the country. Most of Israel’s exports and imports are handled here.
The city leaves a well-kept impression with neat streets, parks, clean suburbs and pretty family homes. Towards the Carmel Mountains, the city spreads out on several plateaus that rise like stairs. The neighborhoods of different heights are accessible here by stairways and steep streets.
A breathtaking view of Haifa, the harbor and the wide bay of the sea can be obtained by walking along the Louis Promenade on Mount Carmel along Yefe-Nof Street at the height of the hanging Bahai Gardens.
As a resort, Haifa attracts visitors with beautiful beaches located mainly south of the city center. The beach facilities are infrastructurally well adapted to the needs of tourists.
16. Sea of Galilee
Few places are mentioned so often in the Bible and have such significance in Christianity as the Sea of Galilee. In the New Testament, the Sea of Galilee is mentioned. Jesus probably spent most of his life at the lake. Especially for Christians, the Sea of Galilee is therefore of enormous importance. Jesus gave his famous Sermon on the Mount on a hill near the lake. A visit to the lake will immerse you in the life and ministry of Jesus and discover the biblical sites.
Also of very great importance is the place of Tabgha on the Sea of Galilee. The place with its impressive churches and gardens is considered the site of the miraculous multiplication of bread mentioned in the Bible. In addition, Peter was installed at the Sea of Galilee as the first pope. The former fishing village of Capernaum is also located on the Sea of Galilee and is considered the birthplace of various disciples of Jesus. Basically, the Sea of Galilee with its many biblical sites is a significant Christian pilgrimage destination.
Located 212 meters below sea level, the Sea of Galilee is considered the lowest freshwater lake in the world. Depending on its water level, the lake, which is relatively shallow at about 43 meters, is about 21 kilometers long and up to 13 kilometers wide. The Sea of Galilee flows south into the Dead Sea, which is even lower. The most important tributary of the lake is the Hule Basin, which comes from the Jordan River.
The Sea of Galilee is particularly important as a freshwater reservoir in the country. Directly on the shores of the great lake are several towns, the largest of which is Tiberias in the southwest of the water. The scenery of the Sea of Galilee is beautiful and shines out of the surrounding rocks of the reddish-brown mountains.
Sun, sea and beach. Israel has two main holiday areas that fulfill the dreams of sun-hungry beach tourists: one is the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and the other is Eilat on the Red Sea. Eilat is the southernmost city in Israel. It has the advantages of year-round sunshine, warm temperatures, wild desert landscapes and tropical coral reefs.
Actually, it is surprising that Eilat can compete against the Mediterranean beaches and vacation party miles of Tel-Aviv and Nethanya as a resort. After all, the city is completely off the beaten track, in the very south of the country, cut off by Negev Desert. The short coastal strip that Israel can claim for itself on the Red Sea is just eleven kilometers long.
But the advantage of Eilat is obvious. The sun shines here all year round. Even when it is cloudy and rainy on the Mediterranean coast in winter, travelers to Eilat can enjoy their beach vacation at almost 20 degrees Celsius and sunshine. In spring, the water and air temperatures are just ideal. The water is so warm that despite the subtropical climate, tropical coral reefs have developed. In midsummer, however, it can get up to 40 degrees Celsius and very humid on some days.
Masada is an ancient fortress on the Dead Sea. It is located on the rocky plateau of a massive table mountain. The location and view are breathtaking. The story of its bitter defense by the Jewish freedom fighters and conquest by the Romans in 73 AD, as well as the drama of the collective suicide of its defenders, made the fortress a symbol of Jewish resistance and will to defend themselves. Masada is a national park, UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most visited sites in Israel.
The massive rocky plateau is as suitable for a fortress. It is some 440 meters high above the Dead Sea. On all sides, steep and hard-to-reach rock faces rise up. On the shore side of the Dead Sea, the rock face rises 400 meters, often vertically. On the west side, the height difference is less, as the mountain adjoins a lower rock plateau. Nevertheless, even here the difference in elevation measures more than 100 meters.
To get to the top of the mountain, there have always been only a few narrow paths that snake along the rock face. Today, there are two accessible access routes for visitors: the Snake Trail on the east side and the Roman Ramp trail on the west side. Visitors have been able to ride a cable car up Table Mountain since the 1970s. This has opened up the mountain as a travel attraction to mass tourism.
Occasionally, the Sea of Galilee is also called the Sea of Tiberias. This underlines the importance of the largest town in the region, with a population of around 40,000. The mild climate on the shores of the lake attracts not only foreign vacationers. Israelis also like to relax in Tiberias.
The city of Tiberias, called Teverya in Hebrew, is about two thousand years old. It was officially founded under Herod Antipas in 17 A.D. The name Tiberias refers to the Roman emperor Tiberius (reigned from 14 to 37 A.D.). Like other cities of that time, such as Caesarea Maritima, it acquired all the characteristics of a typical Roman Hellenistic city. Temples were built, a forum was constructed, water pipes were laid, a theater and hippodrome (horse racing track) were created.
In addition to the busy lakeside promenade Tayyelet with its restaurants and cafes, the old town with its 18th and 19th century buildings, such as the Al-Bahri mosque and remains of the old city wall southwest of the small harbor, as well as an archaeological park with excavations from Byzantine times, attract visitors. Directly below the harbor is a Greek Orthodox monastery. Dating from the 19th century is the Monastery of St. Peter, about 300 meters north at the other end of the Old City. To the north of Tiberias, Roman baths and an ancient synagogue with beautiful mosaics have been excavated.
The Negev Desert, or simply the Negev, covers about 60% of Israel’s land area, but is sparsely populated. The Negev borders Egypt, the Gaza Strip and is bordered to the north by the Dead Sea. Over the years, part of the desert has been transformed into fertile land thanks to sophisticated irrigation systems – especially in the north. And research continues.
The area of the Negev Desert has been settled for thousands of years. Once by nomads, later by Israelites or also by Nabataeans. And also Abraham was already at home here. Worthwhile is an excursion to Masada, or also to the seaside resort Eilat at the Red Sea. And basically it is of course a wonderful experience to see the Negev with its rocks and the rugged dry mountainous country.
Zefat (Safed) is a popular summer resort in northern Galilee. It is located on the western slope of the Har Canaan ridge northwest of the Sea of Galilee at an altitude of about 800 meters. Because of its location, the hot summers can be easily endured here. The place became famous because of its Jewish clerics and clergymen, who for centuries made Zefat the city of kabbalists, scribes and mystics. Today the place attracts mostly artists and tourists.
The city is very old. Already in pre-biblical antiquity Zefat was known as a city of Canaan. The Egyptian pharaoh Thutmosis III, who conquered large parts of Palestine in the 15th century BC, is also said to have taken Zefat. This is reported in his lists of conquered cities in the Egyptian temple at Karnak near Luxor.
To what extent the place was continuously settled is uncertain. It is known, however, that in classical antiquity Zefat was a Jewish center. Well-known rabbis also stayed here. Rabbi Simeon Bar Yochai is said to have written an important basic text of the Jewish Kabbalah here.
Today Zefat is a modern town, which is aware of its historical tradition. Worth seeing are especially the artists’ quarter with its narrow streets and the Jewish old town with its synagogues, some of which date back to the 16th century. Worth mentioning is the Ha-Ari synagogue of the Sephardim (Spanish Jews), built next to a grotto. A synagogue of the same name was built further south in the village for the Ashkenazim (Central and Eastern European Jews).
Ashdod, now the fifth largest city in Israel, is a vibrant and dynamic city with careful urban planning, well-kept residential neighborhoods, modern public buildings and advanced infrastructure. Since its founding in 1956, Ashdod has had a reputation as an immigrant-friendly city. The city developed into a prominent arts and cultural center.
Ashdod became one of the most important economic centers in Israel and a local metropolis, thanks to its location on a major north-south link. The city is not far from leading urban centers such as Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Be’er Sheva. Ashdod Port is not only a large and important commercial and industrial port in Israel, it also serves as a docking point for the large cruise ships that arrive in Israel daily.
The city’s sandy beach is about 7.5 kilometers long and is also known as the Riveira of Ashdod. Here on the coast are many luxury hotels, there are numerous entertainment venues and a beautiful promenade.
9. Nimrod Fortress
Nimrod Fortress is an impressive sight on the slopes of Mount Hermon, above the Banias spring. The proud structure, also known by its Arabic name Qala’at Subeiba, was built in 1228 by Al-Maliq al-‘Aziz ‘Othman, the city governor of Banias, to block the passage of Frederick II’s troops. The latter wanted to march from Acre to Damascus. Initially, the fortress was of simple construction, but after the conquest by the Mamluks Sultan Beibars, a huge and sophisticated fortress was built.
Unfortunately, this fortress has a rather shadowy existence among visitors to Israel. This may be due to its remote location high up in the northeast on the one hand, and on the other hand to its history, which is mainly characterized by a Mamluk ruler. However, if you want to get an imposing view down on northeastern Israel, marvel at the building arts of the Middle Ages and enjoy an extremely relaxing tranquility, Nimrod Fortress is the right place for you.
8. Bet Shean
Bet Shean (Bet She’an) is the largest former Roman city in modern Israel. The excavation area, located in the northern Jordan Valley, has huge dimensions compared to other excavations. At its height around 750, it was home to several temples, warehouses, a huge theater, a bathhouse – in short, a thriving city. Researchers estimate the number of inhabitants at 40,000 to 50,000 people, already an imposing city by the standards of the time. It represents a unique testimony of Roman architecture, because many building remains and urban elements of Bet Shean are in an exceptionally well-preserved condition. Visitors and researchers owe the present existence of these finds to a natural event. In 749, an earthquake shook the region. The inhabitants apparently did not rebuild this city due to the great destruction and left it to its natural course.
Almost all of Acre s historical sights are located in the area of the Old City, which with its buildings, alleys and gardens is one of the most beautiful in Israel. The current image of the Old City dates largely from the 18th century, when the region was part of the Ottoman Empire and the Pashas of Palestine made Akko their residential city. Beneath the buildings from the Ottoman period still rest the foundations and underground structures of the powerful ancient Crusader city, which became the capital of the Crusader Empire in the Holy Land after the fall of Jerusalem.
The Old City of Acre is particularly impressive for its fortified buildings from Ottoman times, which were built on the foundations of the old Crusader fortresses. Visitors will encounter the large walls, bastions and fortifications already at the northern edge of the Old City. Three roads lead into the old city, two from the north and one from the east.
A good impression of the northern fortifications can be gained by walking along the Wall Promenade. In addition to the northern city wall, which extends from the Burj el-Kommander fortress tower on the land side to the Burj Kurajim on the sea side, there are also an eastern and a western sea wall against which the surf of the sea beats.
Also dating from the Ottoman Empire is the citadel to the north of the Old City. Most of the citadel, which is about 40 meters high, was built in the late 18th century under Pasha Ahmed Jezzar. A special sight is located below the citadel. Here are still preserved underground facilities of the former fortress of the Knights of St. John.
Like the other fortresses from the Crusader period, the castle of the Knights of St. John was destroyed after the conquest by the Mamelukes in 1291.
Among the most popular and most visited resorts on the Israeli Mediterranean coast is the city of Netanya. Famous are the long and lively beaches and the waterfront promenade along the high cliff.
About thirty kilometers north of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa metropolis lies Netanya. Although the city was founded only in 1928 as an agricultural cooperative settlement, Netanya is now a major city with a population of more than 180,000. The cityscape of the expanding coastal metropolis is characterized by its skyline of hotels and modern high-rise buildings.
Netanya’s beach, more than ten kilometers long, is special because of its sand dunes and cliffs up to thirty meters high. From the boardwalk you have an excellent view of the sea, and you can see far across the long beach. It is very popular and busy. Because of the close proximity to the city, the water in the beach area is not always of the cleanest quality. However, entertainment and beach recreation are well provided for. Hotels and tourism are an important source of income for the city. Therefore, a lot of emphasis is put on culture and entertainment. Both families and young people with a party mood get their money’s worth. Many of the international bathing and beach guests come from France. However, the majority of beach-hungry sun worshippers in Netanya are the Israelis themselves.
Of paramount biblical importance is the city of Bethlehem. Over two billion Christians believe in Bethlehem as the birthplace of Jesus Christ. Today about two million visitors come to the city with its holy sights. Most of the visitors come to the holy city through Jerusalem.
The birthplace of Jesus Christ has been revered since the second century. The Church of the Nativity of Jesus is one of the most visited sights in the city. Opposite the Church of the Nativity is Omar Square with the mosque of the same name. The old town of Bethlehem, with its narrow streets and many stairways, has a special charm and is home to about 37,000 people. Christians as well as Muslims characterize the special cultural and religious mix. Unfortunately, the different denominations do not always meet peacefully here, but the old town is always worth a visit.
The main sight of the city is the Church of the Nativity with the Grotto of the Nativity. Different denominations have holy altars, so the right side altar belongs to the Roman Catholic Church. A star under the Nativity altar marks the birthplace of the Son of God. In addition to the birthplace of Jesus Christ, the Roman Catholic Church of St. Catherine is a sacred landmark. Legendary is the Midnight Mass at Christmas, which is televised worldwide from here. The Milk Grotto and Rachel’s Tomb are among the most visited holy sites in the Middle East. A mix of many denominations makes up the Old City of Bethlehem.
Archaeological findings show that Jaffa was inhabited as early as 3,500 BC. In the old town of Jaffa, in the narrow, picturesque streets, you can still find numerous, lovingly restored stone buildings from the Ottoman period, which are part of a beautiful artists’ quarter. One of the main sights is the hilltop located in its center, where there are restaurants, galleries and exclusive Judaica stores, a promenade, the old sea wall, a visitor center and Kdumim Square.
The city’s harbor is usually populated by tourists and fishermen. There are also some important Christian sites here, such as the 17th century Franciscan monastery of St. Peter, the house of Simon the Gardener, and the tomb of the disciple Tabitha (Tabea), who was raised from death by Peter because of her good deeds.
At the border of the old town stands the Ottoman tower clock, the Agami quarter adjoins it. A flea market is held here regularly, a treasure trove for collectors. The goods offered can be bargains, but also completely overpriced – as in any market of this kind. In any case, when buying, it should be noted that the items may also be exported.
The promenade at the harbor is a great attraction for evening visitors, preferably during the warm months. Numerous restaurants, bars and cafes invite you to relax and feast, which is especially well used by the locals.
It was an archaeological and biblical-historical sensation. Two thousand-year-old scrolls had been found in a cave near the Dead Sea. Then further written testimonies came to light in neighboring caves. These are the oldest fragments of biblical texts found to date. Finally, excavations of a nearby hill of ruins were followed by the unearthing of the remains of a monastery-like Jewish community settlement between 1952 and 1956. Theologians and historians do not exclude that it could be a settlement of the Essenes.
Today the scrolls and fragments can be seen in Jerusalem’s Rockefeller Museum and in the Israel Museum. In the latter they have created a special exhibition room, the so-called Shrine of the Book, where some Qumran scrolls are exhibited along with other important ancient textual finds.
Jericho calls itself the oldest city in the world and is also known as the City of Palms. The city is located in the Palestinian Territories on the west bank of the Jordan River and is the lowest city in the world. It is about four kilometers from Jericho to the Jordanian border. Many visitors come to Jericho from Jerusalem through the desert and mountain landscape. It takes about half an hour to drive from Jerusalem.
Although the city is sealed off, many visitors come to the city, which has several attractions, including the cable car to the mountain and the Monastery of the Temptation in the west of the city area. To the west of Jericho, the Wadi Qelt gorge, which leads toward Jerusalem, is also an attraction. However, this popular valley is located outside the territories of the autonomous areas.
Jericho is popular as a tourist destination due to its mild climate, many cafes and restaurants. The city carries a great historical heritage and was built about four thousand years before the pyramids in Egypt. Many rulers of Jerusalem had their winter residences here due to the climate. Jericho is mentioned several times in the New Testament and thus has a special Christian significance.
1. Mar Saba Monastry
Mar Saba Monastery is located in the Judean Desert not far from Bethlehem. The Judean Desert is a semi-desert in Israel and the West Bank. It is located between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea and extends to the northeastern Negev. It is characterized by terraces and steep slopes and ends steeply in the Jordan Valley. Numerous wadis, some of which are up to 600 meters deep, cut through it from west to east. The Kidron River or stream has also dug its bed here and, leaving behind a green aisle, flows east of the monastery past it toward the Dead Sea and empties into the Salt Sea here, about 2 kilometers southeast of the village of Avnat.
Mar Saba is a Greek Orthodox monastery near Bethlehem. The monastery was founded around 483 and named after its founder, St. Sabas. In the 8th century, the church father John of Damascus spent the last years of his life here. In the 12th century, the Crusaders stole the body of St. Sabas buried here and brought it to Venice, where it was kept.
In 1964, the State of Italy returned the body and St. Sabas was once again buried in the cross-domed church of the monastery. The monastery maintained a form of the Old Jerusalem liturgy adapted to its needs until the beginning of the 2nd millennium, when it adopted the Byzantine rite. The late antique Tropologion (hymnal) used in Mar Saba has been preserved in Georgian translation. The liturgical typicon of the monastery found the widest circulation and in its Constantinople form, revised several times, became the permanent guideline of the churches of Byzantine tradition. The Sabas Monastery was an important center of Georgian scholarship and literature in the Middle Ages.