The Monastery of Mar Saba (a.k.a The Holy Lavra of Saint Sabbas the Sanctified) The Greek Orthodox monastery looks a bit like a hive of buildings situated on a steep wall above the Kidron Valley ( Israel / The West-Bank – disputed territory). It was founded approximately 1500 years ago by St. Sabas who was born in 439 in Cappadocia. Women, meat and apples are forbidden from entering to the monastery. Women are forbidden – so that the monks will not have to resist temptation (The female visitors are directed to the “women’s tower”, a tall building next to the monastery). Meat – since it is believed that this will increase the lust for women and Apples – because, according to tradition, St. Sabas was attending the monastery’s garden on a day of fasting, and an apple that hanged on a nearby tree tempted him to break his fast. That day he decided there would be no more apples in his monastery. Mark Twain, who arrived in 1867 as an journalist accompanying pilgrims, described the Land of Israel in his book “The Innocents Abroad.” on the chapter “Pleasure Excursion to the Holy Land” – Contrary to what was expected, only the Catholics received good words from him. He described the contributions of the Catholic monasteries, especially Mar Saba, who made him feel protected and safe in his Holy Land travels.
For more information visit Wikipedia – Mar Saba
Google map of the Monastery:
Photos by Ron (Amazingplacesonearth.com Team)