Euthymius Monastery was established by Saint Euthymius, a leading figure in the Byzantine monastic movement in the Holy Land. Euthymius settled in a cave in 420 CE in the northern Judean Desert, half-way between Jerusalem and Jericho. Monks that joined him developed the site into a laura and then a coinobium monastery. The monastery also accommodated pilgrims headed from Jerusalem to Jesus’ Baptism site or Mount Nebo. The site was also used in the Crusaders period but was later abandoned. The monastery was excavated by several archaeological expeditions, and later developed for tourism.
Visiting the Monastery of Saint Eutyhmius
Today, the Euthymius monastery is in the heart of a commercial and industrial zone of East Jerusalem. Its remains stand out in sharp contrast to the modern development around it. Visiting the site requires pre-arrangement through the National Parks Authority. Most impressive the monastery’s large-scale water reservoir. Beneath the monastery’s church several burials were uncovered, including of Euthymius, whose tomb was venerated in antiquity.
A visit to the site can be combined in a guided day tour of the Dead Sea.
Points of Interest in the Area
Euthymius Monastery is one many that flourished in the Judean Desert in the Byzantine Period. Believed to be where Jesus’ resisted the temptations of Satan after his baptism, this region was attracted many devout and ascetic Christian believers. Five miles west is Martyrius Monastery, formed by one of the disciples of Saint Eutyhmius. Northeast of the monastery is the Good Samaritan Inn, and Saint George Monastery. These sites attest to the vibrant monastic movement here in antiquity.