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 pilgrim 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…
Women can look at this phenomenal cliff-clinging copper-domed hermitage, from the opposite slope, while men are permitted inside.
No running water, no electricity, lost in this enchanted desert, Mar Saba is a must-see on any journey through the Holy Land
Also residing here (rather more eternally) are the remains of 5th-century ascetic St Saba, whose body lies in the church’s second chapel, and the skulls of some 120 monks massacred here in 614 CE.