10 Must-Visit Monasteries In Israel

monasteries in israel
| 5 min read

Are you planning to have a vacation in Asia but not sure where to go? Why don’t you visit the Middle Eastern country of Israel? Check out the famous Dead Sea - the local people believe that the salt of the sea can help to make you look fresher and younger. Visit Sea of Galilee, one of the most popular places that are mentioned in the Holy Bible of the Christians. Enjoy the panoramic views and be sure to indulge in St. Peter’s fish in local restaurants adjacent to the sea. In addition, Israel is also regarded as one of the top pilgrimage destinations in the world, as a country with its population divided among some of the world’s major religions. That is why the country has numerous monasteries. Here is your guide to the must-visit monasteries in Israel.

1. Abu Gosh Abbey, Abu Ghosh

PikiWiki Israel 49056 Benedictine monastery in Abu Ghosh
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Dr. Avishai Teicher used under CC BY 2.5

Also known as Benedictine Abbey of Abu Gosh, Abu Gosh Abbey, which is located in the heart of Abu Gosh, an Arab village, is the first monastery you must visit in Israel. Run by the Olivetan Benedictine order, the abbey is inhabited by a community of monks and nuns that are happy to welcome you, walk with you to explore the building, and share insights with you. The abbey is an old monastery in Israel as it has been there since the time of the Crusades. Marvel at the architecture of the 12th century and if interested, you are more than welcome to buy some religious statues and olive oil, one of the famous products of Israel.

Abu Gosh Abbey

Address: Mahmud Rashid St 3, Abu Ghosh, Israel

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 8:30am - 11am, 2:30pm - 5:30pm (closed on Sun)

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2. Rosary Sisters Convent, Jerusalem

Rosary Sisters Convent
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sofia Cohen used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Situated in Jerusalem, Rosary Sisters Convent is inhabited by a group of nuns. The monastery aims to encourage more women to become Christian nuns and help fight for Christianity in Israel. Pilgrims are regularly hosted at this monastery and it also offers a guest house for visitors who wish to spend time with the nuns and are interested in knowing about the life of a nun. Admire the building of the monastery and enjoy a pleasant stroll as it is surrounded by lush greenery.

Rosary Sisters Convent

Address: Gershon Agron St 14, Jerusalem, Israel

Website: Rosary Sisters Convent

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3. Gornenskiy Monastery, Jerusalem

Gorny Monasteryy1
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Yoavd used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Another monastery that is worth your time while traveling in Israel is Gornenskiy Monastery, which is also known as Gorny Monastery. Located in a small but picturesque village, Gornenskiy Monastery is a Russian Orthodox Monastery that is known for its domes and crosses that stand out among the lush landscape. You can enjoy both the architecture and the scenic vistas of the surrounding once you get to the monastery. You can find one big church that serves as the main church along with two smaller churches, cemeteries, the quarters of the sisters, and guest houses. Prayer rituals are performed daily.

Gornenskiy Monastery

Address: HaBikur Stairs 11, Jerusalem, Israel

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4. Latrun Trappist Monastery, Ramla

Latrun Monastery
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Yair Haklai used under CC BY-SA 3.0

‪Also known as Monastery of Silence, Latrun Trappist Monastery is interesting because once you set foot at the monastery, you can literally feel how quiet it is. This is not without reason. The Trappist monks came from France and built the monastery in 1926. According to these French Trappist monks, the spoken language is not something that you should play around with. There is no need for conversation or chat. They only converse with each other when they need too. The quietness that you feel come from the dialogues that are kept to a minimum. Spend some time here to relax your mind and calm your soul.

Latrun Trappist Monastery

Address: Highway 1, Latrun Interchange‬, 7210701, Israel

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 8:30am - 11:30am, 2:30pm - 4pm (closed on Sun)

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5. Cremisan Monastery, Beit Jala

There are two main reasons for visiting Cremisan Monastery that is located right in between Jerusalem and Palestine. The first reason is the view. The monastery sits along Cremisan Valley, a site of natural beauty that you cannot resist. After basking in the scenic vista of the valley, then you can visit for the second reason - the monastery that is owned by Salesian priests. As you are exploring the monastery, you will come across the images of Don Bosco and Pope John Paul II. The most prominent features include the arched ceilings and stone floors. To get to the monastery, pay attention closely as you will pass by a coordinating office that handles the affairs between the two countries.

Cremisan Monastery

Address: Cremisan Street, Biet Jala, Beit Jala, Palestinian Territories

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 3:45pm; Sat - Sun: 8am - 12pm

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6. Holy Monastery of Saint Nicholas, Jaffa

Holy Monastery of Saint Nicholas, which is situated adjacent to the harbor of Jaffa, a port city in Israel, is an Armenian monastery. The ancient monastery was built a long time ago before 1000 AD. The complex of the monastery is quite large and comprises an Armenian church and living residences of the monks. The highlights of the monastery include an image of a visit by Bonaparte and a stone that resembles a cross in the courtyard.

Holy Monastery of Saint Nicholas

Address: Jaffa, Israel

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7. Monastery of St. John in the Wilderness, Even Sapir

The Church, Monastery of St. John in the Wilderness, Jerusalem, Israel הכנסיה, מנזר יוחנן במדבר, ירושלים - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user ekeidar used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Set in the northern part of Even Sapir, the Monastery of St. John in the Wilderness cordially invites you to breathe in the peacefulness exuded throughout the monastery. The location of the monastery is within minutes from the birthplace of Saint John The Baptist and it was built as a dedication to him. Other than the monastery itself, the panoramic views of the wilderness that surrounds it will take your breath away.

Monastery of St. John in the Wilderness

Address: Even Sapir, Israel

Website: Monastery of St. John in the Wilderness

Opening hours: Sat - Thu: 8am - 5pm; Fri: 8am - 4pm

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8. Monastery of the Cross, Jerusalem

PikiWiki Israel 52415 the monastery of the cross in jerusalem
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user שאולה הייטנר used under CC BY 2.5

Monastery of the Cross is arguably the most beautiful monastery to be found in Israel. Situated adjacent to Israel Museum, the monastery is an Eastern Orthodox monastery. Many of the local Christians believe that Valley of the Cross, the location of the monastery, grows the tree that was used the cross on which Jesus was crucified. Highlights of the monastery include a basilica with a large dome in the chapel and pictures and poems on the pillars and walls.

Monastery of the Cross

Address: Rehavia Park Valley of the Cross, Jerusalem, Israel

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 4pm (closed on Sun)

Price: 15 NIS (4 USD)

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9. The Franciscan Monastery of St. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, Ramla

If you are a Christian, you know from the Holy Bible that St. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea were friends and together, they took Jesus off the cross following his crucifixion. The monastery was built to honor both saints and inside the church, you can see their statues.

The Franciscan Monastery of St. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea

Address: 4 Bialik St., Sderot Herzl, 72216, Israel

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10. Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery, Haifa

Interior del Monasterio de Stella Maris, Haifa, Israel 2
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Benjamín Núñez Go... used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Nestled on the slopes of Mount Carmel, Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery is a 19th-century building that stuns visitors through its marble panels that are just so white and pristine. Look up and you will be able to see a beautiful dome that displays many scenes that are taken from the bible. On the main altar, you can admire the statue of the Virgin Mary.

Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery

Address: Stella Maris Rd 100, Haifa, Israel

Website: Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery

Opening hours: 8am - 2pm, 3pm - 6pm (daily)

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Complete your vacation in Israel with visits to monasteries

If you want to have a complete vacation in Israel, then you have to visit as many places as you can, including the monasteries. Spare more time in the country so that you will have more time to make visits to the monasteries mentioned above. All of them are equally beautiful and you can extend your knowledge about the diversity of religion in Israel.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Tenissa is a content writer, translator and editor. She enjoys being a globetrotter and has traveled to many countries around the world. So far, her favourite destination is Switzerland. She looks...Read more

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