This is the Id-Deir Mar Saba, Monastry of St. Sabas, located in the Judean Desert.
Founded 483 CE by Saint Sabbas from Cappadocia, Greece, this Greek Orthodox monastery is the oldest oldest surviving continuously inhabited monastic community. Home to pilgrims monks looking for hermitage, the isolated location, the suggestive carved shape and the proximity to the desert give this place a very dramatic and breathtaking view.
So old in fact that it still maintains many of its ancient traditions. One in particular is the restriction on women entering the main compound. For them there is one building that women can enter and it’s called the Women’s Tower, near the main entrance, which to our luck was closed that day… Therefore any picture you see from inside the monastery is thanks to our friend Ben 🙂 He in fact told us that inside he found a labyrinth of passages, stairs and cells, there is no running water and no electricity. Sort of an enchanted desert place.
freezing view before crossing a small bridge to other side
Standing on a very high, thin wall opposite the monastery. Above, with Ayame and Ben.
We could have easily got lost if it wasn’t for our friend Odai “The Goat”, he earned this nickname quite rightly, his ability to jump from one edge to another in such place was stunning…
Some of the inside
And a breathtaling view of the Judean Desert