Monastery of the Temptation

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Monastery of the Temptation
دير القرنطل
Monastery of the Temptation (Jeriho).jpg
The Monastery of the Temptation located on the cliffs overlooking Jericho.
Basic information
Location Jericho Governorate, West Bank, Palestine
Geographic coordinates 31°52′29″N 35°25′56″E / 31.87472°N 35.43222°E / 31.87472; 35.43222Coordinates: 31°52′29″N 35°25′56″E / 31.87472°N 35.43222°E / 31.87472; 35.43222
Palestine grid 1909/1422
Affiliation Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem

The Monastery of the Temptation (Greek: Μοναστήρι του Πειρασμού, Arabic: دير القرنطلDeir al-Quruntal) is a Greek Orthodox monastery located in Jericho, Palestine. It was built on the slopes of the Mount of Temptation 350 meters above sea level, situated along a cliff overlooking the city of Jericho and the Jordan Valley.

It currently serves as a tourist attraction and its land is under the full jurisdiction of the Palestinian National Authority, although the monastery is owned and managed by the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem.[1]


The earliest monastery was constructed by the Byzantines in the 6th century CE above the cave traditionally said to be that where Jesus spent forty days and forty nights fasting and meditating during the temptation of Satan,[2][3] about three kilometers northwest of Jericho. The monastery receives its name from the mountain which the early Christians referred to as the "Mount of the Temptation". The Monastery of the Temptation was identified by Augusta Helena of Constantinople as one of the "holy sites" in her pilgrimage in 326 CE.[4]

Palestine, including Jericho, was conquered by the Arabs under the Islamic Caliphate of Umar ibn al-Khattab in the 630s. When the Crusaders conquered the area in 1099, they built two churches on the site: one in a cave half way up the cliff and a second on the summit.[1] They referred to the site as "Mons Quarantana" (from Quaranta meaning forty in Italian, the number of days in the Gospel account of Jesus's fast).[4][5]

The land upon which the modern monastery was built was purchased by the Orthodox Church in 1874. In 1895, the monastery was constructed around a crude cave chapel that marks the stone where Jesus sat during his fast.[1][2][5] Three Orthodox monks currently dwell in the monastery and guide visitors to the site.[2]

The Orthodox Church, along with its Palestinian Orthodox followers purchaser, originally attempted to build a church at the summit, but were unsuccessful; the unfinished walls of that church are located on a slope above the monastery. At this site, a fortress built by the Seleucids called "Doq" stood until it was captured by the Hasmoneans. It was here that Simon Maccabaeus was murdered by his son-in-law Ptolemy.[5]

In 1998, a cable car was built from Jericho's Tell es-Sultan to the level of the monastery by an Austrian-Swiss company as a tourist attraction for the year 2000.[6] At present there is a restaurant, a cafe and a souvenir shop at the monastery entrance for the tourists.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Deir Quruntal & the Monastery of Temptation Visit Palestine.
  2. ^ a b c Lee, 2002, p. 346.
  3. ^ Matt 4:11–1
  4. ^ a b Jericho – Monastery of Temptation (Quarantal Monastery) Flickr.
  5. ^ a b c Jacobs, 1998, pp. 425–426.
  6. ^ Jericho cable car


External links[edit]