Deir Hijleh Monastery

Deir Hijleh Monastery Public


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Deir Hijleh (Monastery of Hijleh), located 5.7 km southeast of Jericho is an example of a monastic life in the wilderness. The church was founded in 455 AD by St. Gerasimus, a monk from Lycia in Asia Minor. It was initially constructed in a form of a laura, a cluster of caves where hermits lead their solitary life and spent their time in prayer. Some of the caves are located one kilometre east of the current monastery. They are hewn in the soft rock of the steep cliffs of Wadi Nukheil (Valley of Palms), where tall palm trees dominate the landscape.

The modern-day Greek Orthodox monastery, characterized by a set of shiny golden domes, dates back to 1885. It is located 400 metres west of the previous church that was abandoned in the 18th century and currently lies in ruins. However, the foundation of the recent church bears inscriptions showing that it belonged to the early Christian edifice.