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St John the Baptist Church
Ein Karem Jerusalem


St John the Baptist Church is a Catholic church in Ein Karem, Jerusalem, that belongs to the Franciscan order. It was built at the site where Saint John the Baptist was believed to have been born.

Around the year 1941 the order of the Franciscans excavated the area of the monastery and the church, where they discovered chambers, graves and mosaics in small chapels, dating to a period between the first century BCE to the year 70 CE, that is the time period of the lives of Zechariah, Elizabeth and John.




St John the Baptist Church in Ein Karem Jerusalem

St John the Baptist Church in Ein Karem Jerusalem

Visited by Christians from all over the world

They come to visit this peaceful village of Ein Karem, the place where John the Baptist was born, located in Jerusalem near the world-famous Hadassah Hospital.

It is sheltered behind iron gates, and contains the grotto in which the birth is believed to have taken place. Surrounded by trees and with a breathtaking view of the Judean Hills. This church stands as a monument to an ancient and enduring faith.




The St John the Baptist Church

What we see today was built on the foundations of a much older structure, that was destroyed and rebuilt over the years. Byzantines erected the original church, which was demolished by angry Samaritans rebelling against the oppression of Byzantine laws. The Crusaders came to rebuild the church, but upon their eviction in later centuries the building fell into disrepair.



Interior of the Church

It was the Franciscan Order of monks that purchased the property in 1674 and restored it with the help of the Spanish Royal Family.

Is for this the reason that much of the art decorating the magnificent interior of the church is Spanish in style, from the blue and white tiling to the sumptuous paintings produced by Spanish artists.




St John the Baptist Church

The Franciscan Monks in the Church of St John the Baptist in Ein Karem

The Franciscan Monks in the Church of St John the Baptist in Ein Karem


Brief History

The New Testament tells us that Jesus’ predecessor, and one of those who predicted Jesus’s coming as the messiah, was John the Baptist, a preacher who led the baptismal movement on the banks of the Jordan River, and is revered as a prophet in several religious traditions, among them Islam.

Opening Hours

  • Monday to Friday
  • From 8:00 to 12:00 and 14:30 to 17:00
  • Sunday
  • From 9:00 to 12:00 and 14:30 to 17:00

The Church of Saint John the Baptist in Old Jerusalem

The Church of Saint John the Baptist in Old Jerusalem

This is another church with the same name in the Muristan area of the Christian Quarter of Old Jerusalem. It is a small Greek Orthodox church, that in its current form, most of the above-ground church dates to the 11th century, and the crypt to the Late Roman or Byzantine period.



For more information visit the Israel Tourism Official Website


images for st john the baptist church

church by ori229
altar by berthold werner
church by hoshvillim
church in old jerusaelm by djampa
church by willem van de poll

all courtesy of wikimedia commons



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