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Place to Visit


Jericho lies twenty-two miles east of Jerusalem 853 feet below sea level making it the lowest town on earth. Jericho and its surrounding area is one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the world. On a mount overlooking the Jericho oasis, excavations have uncovered settlements dating from 9000 BC and the Oldest Walled Town (7000 BC) yet discovered. Jericho deserves a visit as the history is absorbing and the atmosphere with numerous outdoor cafŽs and excellent restaurants, is refreshingly laid-back.

• The Dead Sea • Hisham’s Palace
• Nabi Musa • Qumran and Ein Fashka
• Deir Quruntal and Monastery of Temptation • Tell as-Sultan (ancient Jericho)
• Wadi Kilt & Monastery of St. George (Deir al-Qelt) • Good Samaritan Inn (Al-Khan al-Ahmar)
• The Jordan River  

The Dead Sea

At a maximum depth of 400 meters below sea level, the Dead Sea is by far the lowest spot on the surface of the earth. Its high salt content of about 25 percent above that of an average sea makes it impossible for any form of life to live in its waters. However, it makes swimming an extraordinary experience, as it is impossible to sink! The mud and minerals of the Dead Sea are natural healers of skin diseases and invigorate healthy skin.

• Hisham’s Palace

The site is 2km north of Jericho and was built by the Omayyad Calif, Hisham Ibn Abdul Malek. The remains are of a magnificent winter palace which was destroyed by an earthquake in 747A.D. shortly after construction. The site contains royal buildings, a mosque, water fountains and spectacular mosaic floors.

• Nabi Musa

Nabi Musa in Arabic means "the prophet Moses" who is recognized as one of the great prophets of Islam. Maqam Nabi Musa has been the site of an annual pilgrimage festival since the time of Salah ad-Din. Set in an awe-inspiring landscape 20km east of Jerusalem, Maqam Nabi Musa is a splendid example of medieval Islamic architecture. The present shrine, mosque, minaret, and some of the rooms were built in 1269 AD while successive additions brought the site to its present day shape in 1475 AD.

• Qumran and Ein Fashka

Located 20km south of Jericho, on the western shore of the Dead Sea, is the site where the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were found. The discovery of the Scrolls was made in 1947 by an Arab shepherd looking for a stray goat in the western region of the Dead Sea. Seven scrolls were found, the most famous being the scroll of Isaiah, which is one foot wide and 24 feet long. Excavations at the site found more than 900 pieces of scrolls in more than 30 caves. Except for two scrolls written on copper, all the scrolls were written on leather and papyrus. Covering a period of 300 years, the writings in the scrolls include the birth of Christ and offer insights and a background to the teachings of Christ. 

• Deir Quruntal and Monastery of Temptation

The summit of Mt. Temptation, rising to a height of 350 meters above sea level and commanding a magnificent view of the Jordan Valley, is the site where Jesus spent forty days and nights fasting and meditating during the temptation of Satan. A monastery was built in the sixth century over the cave where Christ stayed. The path leading to Deir Quruntel is very steep and difficult to climb, but is well worth the walk. The nearly 30-40 caves on the eastern slopes of the mountain have been inhabited by monks and hermits since the early days of Christianity.

• Tell as-Sultan (ancient Jericho)  

The ancient city of Jericho is located 2km from the northwestern outskirts of Jericho. Situated on a mound overlooking the Jericho oasis, excavations at Tell al-Sultan uncovered 23 layers of ancient civilizations, dating back to 9000 BC. Many structures are visible, including the oldest known stairs in the world, the oldest wall, and the massive defense tower, dating back to 7000 BC.

• Wadi Kilt & Monastery of St. George (Deir al-Qelt)

Wadi Qelt is a natural rift in the hills with high, sheer rock walls, extending 45km between Jerusalem and Jericho. Hermits have inhabited the Wadi since the third century. Today, it is a wonderful place for hiking tours, especially in the winter. The Monastery of St. George is carved out of the rock and clings to the canyon walls impressively. Built in the fifth century, the monastery was destroyed during the Persian invasion of Palestine. Most of the present monastery dates back to the 1901 restoration by the Greek Orthodox Church.

• Good Samaritan Inn (Al-Khan al-Ahmar)

Located 10 km east of Jerusalem, on the main road to Jericho, al-Khan al-Ahmar is a 16th century structure where travelers on this ancient trade route stopped to rest. Today, a souvenir shop and a Bedouin tent serving refreshments to tourists occupy the inn. On the other side of road are the remains of St. Euthymius Church, built in the fifth century to commemorate the famous story of the Good Samaritan.

• The Jordan River

The Jordan River is an unusual stream that flows from 3,000 feet above sea level at Mt. Hermon in Syria to the Dead Sea at 1,300 feet below sea level. With an average width of 100 feet, the Jordan River twists and curves for 160 miles but covers a straight-line distance of only 65 miles. Jesus came to the Jordan River from Galilee to be baptized by John. Since then, the river has been important to all Christians, the many of whom get baptized there. 

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