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The Monastery of Mar Saba, Israel

From series “The Most Remote Monasteries and Temples in the World”
Year: 6th century.

There is the Orthodox monastery of Mar Saba In Israel, near Jerusalem. The shrine is known to many travelers as the Great Lavra of St. Sabbas the Sanctified. In appearance it resembles a powerful medieval fortress. The monastery was named after its founder and was laid in this place in the 5th century. An amazing legend tells that in search of solitude Sabbas the Sanctified has found a cave, where he spent several years. A few years later, a small church was built near the cave. After that, devotees and followers of a hermit began to settle there.

The Monastery of Mar Saba, Israel Construction of the great monastery began a little later, in the 6th century, during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. One of the lookout towers of the monastery was built in memory of this significant event; now it bears the name of the great emperor. Since ancient times, the monastery of Mar Saba has being one of the most restricted in the world, as even now women aren’t allowed to enter its territory. The latest large-scale reconstruction of the monastery took place in the first half of the 19th century. Many buildings managed to retain their original appearance.

Like many ancient monasteries, Mar Saba is far from major settlements. It’s situated in the dead area of the Judean Desert, the so-called Valley of Fire. The only opportunity to visit this unique religious landmark is to have a long trip through the vast desert. Women don’t have to refuse from the experience, as there are several viewing platforms for them around the monastery. Next - Monasterio de Montserrat


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The Monastery of Mar Saba - interactive map

Useful staff nearby

Car rental office: 'Zvi Cars' is located in 12 km ( on the map).
Fuel station: 'Aroma' in 8 km
Parking: 'Bus Terminal' in 10 km
Apotheek: 'Armon HaNatsiv' in 10 km
Police station: 'Mate Makhoz Shai' in 10 km
Cafe/restaurant: 'The Eucalyptus Restaurant' in 12 km

Nearest airports:
 »  Mendez Airport MZD - in 42 km
 »  Ben Gurion Airport TLV - in 54 km
 »  Queen Alia Airport AMM - in 62 km
 »  Sde Dov Airport SDV - in 68 km
 »  Marka International Airport ADJ - in 69 km
 Cities nearby

Best hotels near The Monastery of Mar Saba

Seven Arches Hotel

Located in 11 km from The Monastery of Mar Saba
Route on the map:
Rooms: 196
Hotel Seven Arches features 2 restaurants. One of which is a bistro serving international and Middle Eastern dishes. The hotel overlooks Jerusalem … More: photo, rates and booking
New Imperial Hotel

Located in 12 km from The Monastery of Mar Saba
Route on the map:
Rooms: 50
All rooms come with a flat-satellite screen TV and a balcony. Complete with a refrigerator, the dining area also has an electric kettle. Private … More: photo, rates and booking
Shamai Suites Jerusalem

Located in 13 km from The Monastery of Mar Saba
Route on the map:
Rooms: 15
Each apartment is air conditioned and features a laptop-sized safe and flat-screen TV with cable channels. The kitchenette includes a microwave, … More: photo, rates and booking
Levy Apartments

Located in 14 km from The Monastery of Mar Saba
Route on the map:
Rooms: 16
All rooms and studios are modern and come with free Wi-Fi and air conditioning. The studios also feature a fully equipped kitchenette. You get fresh … More: photo, rates and booking

Nearest unique sightseeing spots to visit

Tomb of Zechariah
11 km - Tomb of Zechariah
In the Kidron Valley, close to the Temple Mount, there is a unique object, the tomb of Zechariah. It was built during the time of the Second Temple. That’s one of the few monuments of the architecture that has been preserved to this day in its original form. The tomb …
Church of the Resurrection of Christ
12 km - Church of the Resurrection of Christ
In Jerusalem has placed the greatest Orthodox Church of the world meaning – Church of the Resurrection of Christ. Mostly known as Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This cathedral was established in 325 year. The place where it is now is a precise place of the Christ …
Jerusalem
14 km - Jerusalem
Jerusalem is one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in the Middle East and one of the oldest cities in the world, whose history dates back to 2800 BC. Many travelers know it as the location of priceless religious shrines. It’s visited by followers of the …
Monastery of George Khozevita
20 km - Monastery of George Khozevita
In Israel there is a building, on the road to which one is extremely complicated. It is about Gheorghe Hozevitul Monastery. This Orthodox monastery is considered one of the oldest in the world and is located on the territory of the Celt Valley, in the Jewish desert. …
Jericho
21 km - Jericho
The oldest inhabited city in the world is Jericho. According to scientists, the first fortifications in its place were built about 6800 BC. However, the age of some archaeological artifacts found in exploring the modern city are more than 11,000 years old, which means …
Cave of Patriarchs
28 km - Cave of Patriarchs
In Judaism, the second holiest place after the Temple Mount is the Cave of the Patriarchs, also known as the Cave of Machpelah. It’s located in the historic crypt of Hebron. According to the biblical tradition, Isaac, Abraham, Jacob, and their spouses are buried …

Top destination around The Monastery of Mar Saba - Jerusalem

A large part of national celebrations is associated with religious traditions. There is also a large number of festivals organized in the memory of important historical events. All holidays are usually celebrated in a family circle. Every celebration has a number of unique customs and traditions, which are invariably followed for centuries. Virtually every religious holiday starts with reading prayers. This is an important ritual that is trusted to the eldest member of a family. Once a prayer is finished, it is continued by a lavish feast. All close friends and acquaintances should be present at such celebrations.

One more ancient tradition encourages people to give up their everyday affairs and concerns fir the time of a holiday. This solemn day should be spent together with family and should be used to invite and greet guests - this is an old custom. Jerusalem attracts a large number of travelers by its internationally famous religious shrines. This is a world-famous center of pilgrimage. However, not all foreigners show an excellent knowledge of local traditions, which should be followed by absolutely everyone. First of all, visitors should choose the right clothes for visiting religious places. Your apparel should be as closed as possible and preferably in bright colors. Tourists should be very calm during religious events and in shrines. Entering temples wearing shoes is prohibited. Photography and filming are prohibited in the territory of some objects.
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