Ein Prat (Hebrew: Spring of Prat) is the biggest of three perennial springs along Prat stream (Wadi Qelt), a stream that flows along the northern Judean desert, from Jerusalem to Jericho.
History of Ein Prat
The springs along the Prat stream have been utilized by humans from prehistory. The water were channeled to irrigate fields around Jericho already in the Neolithic period, leading humanity into the agricultural revolution. In the classical period aqueducts were installed along the stream, whose remains can be seen to this day. In the 4th century a monk named Kharitun settled next to the Ein Prat, and formed the first monastery in the Judean Desert, Faran monastery. Eventually over 50 monasteries will be established in this region. Faran monastery was attacked and destroyed in the Persian invasion in 614 CE. In the British mandate Period the spring’s water was pumped to Jerusalem, but since 1970 the spring is a protected nature reserve.
Visiting and Swimming at Ein Prat
Today Ein Prat is a national park that offers a refreshing stop, and a swimming experience, in the northern Judean Desert. The monastery near the spring is active again, maintained by a single Russian monk, brother Anaopheri.
For a full appreciation of the site it is recommended to combine it with a guided day tour of the Dead Sea.
Points of Interest in the area
Near Ein Prat is Genesis Land, an desert hospitality tent experience. The road leading to the spring passes by the Good Samaritan Inn, a site relating to a significant parable of Jesus that is a unique mosaic themed museum. Down the Prat stream is another monastic complex known for its stunning panoramas, Saint George Monastery.