Majestic Monasteries Perched on Cliffs: A Tale of Spiritual Marvel
Despite defying gravity, these two religious structures have nestled themselves amidst towering cliffs for centuries.
Emerging from the rock face in the Wadi Qelt Valley near Jerusalem, Israel, the St. George Monastery was established in the 5th century and has a rich history dating back to that time. The monastery served as an important spiritual center in the 6th century before being ravaged by the Persians in the 7th century. Restoration efforts began during the Crusades, and today it welcomes tourists for exploration.
Visitors can embark on a challenging 3-hour hike from Jerusalem through the Wadi Qelt Valley to reach the monastery. Alternatively, easier options include taking a taxi or driving to a nearby parking lot and descending on foot to the monastery.
The highest points of interest within the site are the two churches, the Church of the Virgin Mary and the Church of St. George and St. John. Inside these structures, intricate mosaics and paintings adorn the walls.
Additional attractions at this site include the cave, the Church of St. Elijah, and the bell tower, which were added in the 1950s. Moreover, visitors can explore the remnants of destroyed monk residences from the Persian raid centuries ago.
A short drive away lies the Monastery of the Temptation, another magnificent cliffside structure. Located in Jericho, Palestine, the Monastery of the Temptation is where Jesus resisted the temptations of the devil during his 40-day fast, according to biblical accounts.
Also known as the Qurantul Monastery, it clings to the edges of a 350-meter-high cliff, earning its reputation as an impressive feat of engineering.
The image shows one of the narrow passages within the monastery. According to local travel websites, hermits and monks have inhabited natural caves on the Mount of Temptation since the early centuries of Christianity.
A fresco within the Monastery of the Temptation. This site has evolved from a prayer house built in the 4th century.
Visitors ride a cable car to reach the entrance of the monastery. The mountain peak stands approximately 360 meters above sea level, providing breathtaking panoramic views of the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea, the Moab and Gilead Mountains.