Religious Routes And Sites
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The Monastery Of Mar Saba

A unique structure lying in the Jerusalem Wilderness, the Monastery of Mar Saba dates back to the fifth century and is among the oldest inhabited monasteries in the world. The monastery was founded by the Saint who bears its name, an extraordinary figure hailing from Cappadoccia. Like William Dalrymple, men may still enjoy the monastery’s tradition of hospitality to strangers and find accommodation in this place of unparalleled wild beauty; women, however, will have to abide by the tradition which denies their sex entry to the monastery, for fear, among other things of earthquakes. It is said that when a woman in men’s disguise entered the monastery, the ground immediately began to shake. Even those who do not stoop to this deception can see awe-inspiring views of the assembly of the Church of St. Sophia, the Monastery of St. John Silentiarius, the Chapel of St. Nicholas, the Cave of St. Arcadios, from the Women's Tower, and enjoy the amazing intersection of religious and natural heritage.