The Baptism Site “Bethany beyond the Jordan” (Al-Maghtas) is located in the Jordan Valley, north of the Dead Sea. The site contains two distinct archaeological areas, Tell el-Kharrar, also known as Jabal Mar Elias, and the area of the Churches of St. John the Baptist. “Bethany beyond the Jordan” is of immense religious significance to the majority of denominations of Christian faith, who have accepted this site as the location where Jesus of Nazareth was baptised by John the Baptist. This reference encouraged generations of monks, hermits, pilgrims and priests to reside in and visit the site, and to leave behind testimonies of their devotion and religious activities, dating to between the 4th and the 15th century CE. At present, the site has regained a popular status as pilgrimage destination for Christians, who continue to engage in baptism rituals on site.

Physical remains associated with the commemoration of the historic baptism event include a water collection system and pools as well as later built churches, chapels, a monastery, hermit caves, a cruciform baptismal pool, and a pilgrim station. These archaeological structures testify to the early beginnings of this attributed importance which initiated the construction of churches and chapels, habitation of hermit caves and pilgrimage activities. Beyond its key significance, the site is also associated with the life and ascension of Elijah (also called Elias) and Elisha, which is of common relevance to the monotheistic religions.

× How can I help you?