• Nebi Musa

    The desert sanctuary of Nebi Musa is said to be the last resting place for the Prophet Moses. Its white domed roof has been witness to centuries of pilgrimage.

Nebi Musa is a special place to end a walk across the wadis and hills surrounding the Jordan Valley. The sanctuary consists of the tomb and a mosque and a spacious complex built around. A pretty courtyard and sets of stairs lead on to expansive views at the desert surroundings and the vast Muslim cemetery outside the complex, where past pilgrims and visitors lay buried.

Whilst Christian and Jewish tradition point to Mt. Nebo east of the Jordan river as the burial site of Moses, according to Palestinian Muslim tradition, Nebi Musa is the site where his bones were ultimately put to rest. The 13th century Sultan Baibars built a mosque at the site in honor of Moses and from that point on, a long tradition of pilgrimage ensued.

The tradition grew over the centuries and was scaled up significantly during Ottoman times in the early 19thcentury when an annual pilgrimage took place from Jerusalem to Nebi Musa with several days of both feasting and prayer. Eventually, the annual pilgrimage rite turned into a broader Nebi Musa Festival that celebrated Palestinian culture and identity. Attended by people from all over Palestine in the tens of thousands, the festival continued under British, Jordanian and later Israeli rule, but was often banned for fear of its potential to cause political upheaval. At a smaller scale today, the Nebi Musa Festival continues to be held most years in the week before Orthodox Easter.

Sites in the Jericho Region:

Jericho City

The oldest city but without any of the urban pressures which one finds elsewhere. To all senses, Jericho is an oasis.

St. George’s Monastery

Hanging on the cliffs of Jericho’s most famous wadi route is an ancient monastery open to all.

Mar Saba Monastery

Hidden in an uninhabitable valley, Mar Saba desert monastery has provided refuge and solitary isolation to thousands of ascetic monks who dedicate their lives to prayer, their lives and routines largely unchanged for over 1500 years.

Mount of Temptation

Trek up a steep path or take a ride on a cable car to reach the clifftop Monastery of Temptation. There, treat yourself to a breathtaking panoramic view of Jericho, the Jordan Valley, and the bluish waters of the Dead Sea.

Hyrcania

Hike through the alternating hills and valleys of the remote wilderness to reach the ruins of the strategically situated and mysterious fortress of Hyrcania, experiencing the solitude and quietness of the surrounding desert on your way.

Hisham’s Palace

When passing through Jericho, make sure to visit the impressive ruins of Hisham’s Palace, a truly beautiful example of early Islamic architecture and home to one of the most stunning mosaics in the world.