The Monastery of the Cross is a beautiful but lesser known religious site. According to tradition, this 11th century monastery marks the site of the tree that the Romans cut down to build the cross upon which Jesus was crucified. The ancient stone walls are painted with beautiful murals depicting the story of the tree since it was planted by Abraham’s nephew, Lot.
The original monastery was built in the 5th century, however it was destroyed by Persians in the early 7th century. Georgian monks rebuilt it 400 years later, and hundreds of scholars and poets lived here during the Crusader period. Eventually control of the property transferred to the Greek Orthodox Church. A handful of monks live onsite and maintain the monastery.
To learn more about the monastery, click here.