The Monastery of the Cross is located outside the Old City of Jerusalem. It is a private Byzantine monastery. According to traditions, its exact spot is where the famous tree, primarily composed of olive, cypress and cedar grew that was used to make Christ’s cross and that’s were it acquired its name.
Walls surround the church, appearing like a castle rather than a Holy place. These enormous walls and the defensive design of the Monastery were built for the main purpose of protecting it during the adverse middle ages.
In the 5th century, a Christian church on this place existed. However, the Persians destroyed it in 614 AD. The monastery was restored in the eleventh century where it accomplished the height of its success and development.
Experience a feel of the European scenery during the Middle Ages as one enters through the wooden door in the stone-wall of the monastery. It will take you a 5-minute walk from the Israeli Knesset and the Israel Museum to the doorway of the monastery.
One of the church’s most stunning façade is the simple dome and something worthwhile seeing are the frescoes, which illustrates the extraordinary combination of Christian, pagan and worldly images. The kitchen and dining hall gives you a sight into the monastic life. You would also find a small museum, which is created to store the church’s treasures.
The monastery is open on Mondays to Saturdays from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm and closed on Sundays until 5:00 pm. The entrance fee is NIS 15 per person. Gift shop and drinks machines are available inside the place.
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