The neighborhood of Ein Karem, located at what has used to be the southwest point of the Historical Jerusalem, is a marvelous place to visit when visiting the city.
The Neighborhood evolved from an ancient village with the same name which is traced back all the way to the times of Christ.
It is here, where Saint John the Baptist was born, and this has lead to the establishment of many Churches and Monasteries around.
Hadassah medical center and the Hebrew University of medicine, entistry, nursing, and pharmacolog are also nearby.
- Church of the Visitation – A Catholic Church in Ein Karem. The Church commemorates the visit of the Holy Virgin to Elizabeth, the mother of St. John the Baptist. This is also the site where we are told that Mary recited her song of praise, the Magnificat, one of the most ancient Marian Hymns.
- Church of St. John the Baptist – A Catholic Church which belongs to the Franciscan order. Stands on the site where Saint John the Baptist has been born. The Franciscans performed excavations around 1941 to 1942 and discovered graves, rock-cut chambers, wine presses and small chapels with Mosaic tiling. A truly extraordinary place!
- Les Soeurs de Notre-Dame de Sion – A monastery which belongs to the Les Soeurs de Notre-Dame de Sion (Sisters of Our Lady of Zion) was founded by Theodore and Marie Alphonse Ratisbonne, who was born Jewish and converted to Christianity during the 19th century
- Gorny or “Moscobia” Convent – A convent which was established during the Mission of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Holy city in the late 19th Century. Its name “Gorny” implies its location, as it is the Russian word for “mountainous”. The Convent is located on a hill, near the hospital of Hadasa Ein Karem and provides a great overlook of Ein Karem and the beautiful Green Mountains. The most notable feature of the convent, is, of course, its Golden Iconic Russian domes. A must-see!
- Mary’s Spring – An ancient spring where Virgin Mary stopped to drink water during her visitation. The spring was the center of the ancient Village and was named after her. Pilgrims visit it ever since and even used to fill bottles with the sacred water to bring them back home. Don’t miss it out during your Pilgrimage tour!
It’s also good to mention that there are some interesting landmarks which are located near Ein Karem:
- The Monastery of St. John in the Wilderness – located in the nearby town of Even Sapir. It is the traditional birth site of Saint John the Baptist, contradicting the claim of the other church in Ein Karem, but nevertheless, a marble hidden behind thick woods.
- A cave located close to Kibbutz Tzuba – A site which was used for the worship of St John the Baptist, if not by the saint himself.