Franciscan Monastery & Church

Lower Galilee

An avenue of cypresses leads through this Catholic compound to a monastery, home to three Franciscan friars (helped by lay volunteers from Italy), a small garden of plants from around the world, the ruins of a Byzantine-era monastery, and the Roman–Syrian–style Basilica of the Transfiguration, one of the Holy Land’s most beautiful churches.

Consecrated in 1924, it is decorated with lovely gold-flecked mosaics and has a crypt reached by 12 broad steps. Women are asked to dress modestly (no sleeveless shirts or miniskirts), men to take off their hats. Up to the right from the entrance to the church, a viewing platform offers spectacular panoramas of the Jezreel Valley’s multihued patchwork of fields.