As I think is the case for most people that love traveling, I love finding and learning about lesser-known travel destinations. The world is such a big place full of amazing locations that can be so much more rewarding to visit than enduring the crowds at St. Peters or Versailles. That’s why I knew I needed to learn more about the Monastery of St. Sawa (called Mar Saba in Arabic) when I saw the below image from Christina Luzuk. Christina also shared some amazing experiences and her story with me, a small portion of which I will share at the end of this article.
the monastery of st. sava
The Monastery of St. Sava, or Mar Saba, is an Eastern Orthodox Christian monastery within the Bethlehem Governorate of the West Bank. It lies halfway between the Old City of Jerusalem and the Dead Sea at the Kidron Valley. Christina’s image below shows the path Christina took to reach the Monastery.
After pointing our there is no electricity, cellular reception or access to the digital world at the Monastery, Christina gives more insight:
Tradition has it the Monastery of St. Sava was founded by Sabbas the Sanctified in 483. It is currently the home for twenty monks, who, as mentioned above, live with no electricity or real access to the outside world. The Monastery is considered one of the inhabited monasteries in the world. It also holds the relics of St. Sabbas.
more tips for visiting the monastery
As mentioned by Christina, the Monastery of St. Sava is very traditional so be prepared for strict regulations. For one, women are not permitted in the main compound. In fact, the only building women are allowed to enter is the women’s gate near the main entrance. Although, this restriction did not appear to dampen the trip much for Christina.
The Monastery is closed on Wednesdays and Fridays for fasting
Christina tags herself as a Russian girl living in Germany. You can find more of her work and experiences on Instagram. Christina shared a very special story with me about her experience in the Holy Land. Years before her trip, Christina was in a bad car accident and lost a loved one. The experience haunted her and put her in a downward spiral that affected every part of her life. She credits her time in the desert as pulling her out of this and putting her life back on track. Her time in the desert taught her how to live in the now and how to find happiness without materials things. She learned how to enjoy the silence, overcoming dark thoughts and bad memories. Not everyone can abandon the world and live this amazing experience, but for those who need it, Christina’s story is an inspiration.