Pinsteps. Deir Hijleh the church of St Gerasimus of the Jordan

The original monastery was not preserved. Persians destroyed the monastery during their invasion in 614 A.D. as almost all Christian institutions in the Holy Land. Only at the time of the Crusaders, next to the historical monastery called "Kalamon" (Good Shelter), the Christian presence was restored. The buttresses in the northern outer wall of the modern monastery are the evidence for this. The monastery located near the vital road along the Jordan River played a defensive role during the time of the Crusaders and controlled the entire region. Most likely that the activities of Raynald of Châtillon, Lord of Transioradan, during the reign of Guy de Lusignan, led to a particularly fierce confrontation with Muslims caused the monastery to fall, as did the crusader fortress Vadum Jacob. In wars with Muslims and futile attempts to threaten Mecca, Raynald of Châtillon even ferried ships across the Dead Sea to the Arava Valley and dragged them further to the Red Sea. Raynald's vigorous and aggressive activity strengthed the position of Salah ad-Din, which put an end to the first kingdom of the Crusaders in the Holy Land and destroyed the fortress on the site of the modern monastery of Gerasimus of Jordan.

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Evgeny Praisman
Jordan River and the Dead Sea. Jan 2, 2020

Traveling to the place of baptism on the Jordan River and the ancient monastery of Deir Hijleh takes only an hour and a half. This one and a half hours bring us to a fantastic story. The Jordan River is associated primarily with the baptism of Jesus Christ from John the Baptist. The place where these events took place is called in Arabic Qasr El Yahud - the court of the Jew. The centuries-old tradition of baptism was renewed after the signing of a peace treaty between Jordan and Israel. The border between the countries runs along the river, and only a few meters are divided between them. Not far from the place of baptism is one of the oldest monasteries on the Dead Sea - the monastery of St. Gerasimus. It was one of the first monasteries of Koinonia. The walls of the monastery remember the battles of Muslims and crusaders. The skulls of monks pretend to be the bones of the martyrs of the Persian conquest. A journey of ten kilometers takes us on a tour of twenty centuries. Do not miss this adventure on the Dead Sea.

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Evgeny Praisman (author)
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