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.
Tours To Mar Saba Monastery
Private Day Tour: St. George's Monastery, Wadi Qelt, Mar Saba, and Bethlehem BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $500
Duration: 8 hours
Private Day Tour: Herodion, Mar Saba Monastery and Bethlehem BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $500
Duration: 7 to 8 hours
Full Day Bethlehem Private Tour BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $205
Duration: 8 hours
Mar Saba Monastery Reviews
This is a must-see, even if you cannot get inside. The surrounding Judean Hills and the Kidron Valley are an amazingly beautiful place to hike, with breathtaking views. The monastery is set amid... more »
The desolate and amazingly looking monastery was built in 483 AD and is one of the oldest continuously active Christian monasteries in the world. It is located in the middle of nowhere, in the Judean.... more »
Amazing orthodox monastery in the middle of the Judean Desert. Inside, you feel like the first monks a thousand years ago. Women are forbidden to enter, but they can walk around and enjoy fantastic views of the monastery.
Mar Saba monastery is a must visit site while travelling in Bethlehem area, the ancient monastery and the unique landscape brings you back in a time centuries ago when the desert hermits crowded the Judean desert. it's a greek-orthodox monastery and entrance is allowed only for men. I suggest to cross the valley and climb up the cave where St. Saba first settled from there you will have amazing view of the monastery complex.
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