Monastery of the Cross


The origins of this fortified monastery are cloaked in mystery. It is believed that Jesus's cross was constructed from wood grown in this valley, leading to a monastery being founded here in the 4th century; some historians link its construction to Empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great. In the 11th century, the present structure was built under the instructions of King Bagrat IV of Georgia; the chapel remains faithful to Georgian style.

The interior features frescoes and a fragment of 6th-century mosaic floor. It has been under Greek Orthodox ownership since the 17th century. There is also a small museum (really a collection of unlabelled religious and historical miscellany).

The monastery can be reached by walking through Rehavia along Ramban St, crossing Ben Zvi Ave and following the path down the Valley of the Cross (Emeq HaMatzleva). Alternatively, take bus 15 from the Central Bus Station.

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