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Excursion to Jericho and the Judean Desert Monasteries

One day tour in small groups to places of biblical events.

Judean Desert
Judean Desert – the birthplace of Christianity and the first monasteries in the Holy Land. In the division of land, this area went to the tribe of Yehuda (Judah), so it is called the Judean desert. The boundary extends from the Judaean Desert Ridge Ramallah in the north to Hebron in the south, to the east by the Syrian – African Rift, where the Dead Sea is located. The western border of the Judean desert runs along the eastern slopes of the Judean Mountains. It receives less than 200 mm of rainfall per season. During the rainy season water flows, originating in the Judean Hills and running into the Dead Sea, converted in a short time the Judean desert into a blooming oasis. In the desert, there are sources of water that attracted people at all times, and the human presence here begins with the prehistoric period and extends to the present day.

Good Samaritan Shelter
“Good Samaritan Shelter” – a place familiar to the Gospel of Luke. It is about him telling his famous parable of Jesus. Here lies the road from Jerusalem to Jericho, and at all times, it served as a resting place for travelers. During the Second Temple period (516 BC. E. – 70 AD) This place was a Jewish settlement. Later there appeared an inn. During the Byzantine period, there was a church and a shelter, the Crusaders later just used this place.

Today, this place is a museum of mosaics. Masterpieces of ancient masters now adorn the museum exhibit. This museum houses mosaics from the Byzantine period of the synagogues (Jewish and Samaritan) and churches found in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

Monastery of George Hozevita

Monastery of George Hozevita was built in the V century on the north side of the creek Porat in the Judean desert near the cave where St.. Elijah the Prophet hid three years and six months, and the ravens brought him food (Third book of kings, 17:5-6). The monastery flourished at the end of VI and at the beginning of VII century when the abbot St. Georgia Cozeba patronizes the monastery which bears his name to this day.

The Persian invasion of 614 years has brought terrible damage to the monastery. Many monks were killed by the Persians, monastic buildings were severely damaged. The XIII century convent completely empty. Only in 1878 the monks of Saint-Grobskiy brotherhood began to restore the once flourishing Abode. Today – it is beautiful, but unfortunately the little village monks Desert Monastery of the Holy City.


Jericho (Palestinian Authority) – one of the oldest cities in the world, founded more than 10,000 ago. “Jericho pipe” – the biblical story of the capture of the city by Joshua (Joshua 2.1 – 4.24), thanks to sound of a trump that was God’s mediation. In Jericho there were events narrated in the Bible: Bartimeya healing the blind and the publican Zaccheus, steeped in sin (Luke 18-19). Several sycamore in Jericho survived to the present day and remind pilgrims of Zacchaeus, climb a tree (“the biblical fig tree”), to see Jesus.
Quarantal Mountain (mountain forty days) and the monastery Temptations, the site of Jesus’ temptations of the devil; Greek temple of the prophet Elisha righteous with the Tree of Zacchaeus (“biblical fig tree”), the source of St.. Elisha, the ruins of the palace of the Caliph Hisham VIII century AD.

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Bethabara (Kasr El Yaud) – so the true place of the baptism of Jesus Christ in the waters of the Jordan River.
This place is mentioned in the New Testament (Gospel John. I, 28). Title Bethabara means “home transition” (or crossing), corresponding to the intended location of Bethabara opposite the town of Jericho, in the Jordan ford, where there was a district with the same name. We also know that in this area, according to the ancient manuscripts, preached and performed the baptism of John the Baptist.
In the time of King David in this place even acted steam.
In Bethabara crossed the Jordan prophets Elijah and Elisha.

Monastery of Jordan Gerasimos

 The Monastery of Saint Gerasimos – founded in 455, is one of the oldest on earth. The monastery is located a few kilometers from the Jordan River and the city of Jericho.
The Monastery of Saint Gerasimos was built on the cave place, where, according to legend, the Holy Family stayed on his way to Egypt.
The modern building of the monastery was built in the late XIX century, with the assistance of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in the ancient foundations of the monastery from the Byzantine period (VI century) and the ruins of the church of the XII century.
St. Gerasimos came to the Holy Land and settled in the Jordan desert. Here the Monk Gerasimos arranged the monastery.
The Orthodox Church commemorates St. Gerasimos of Jordan March 4 (March 17, New Style).