It really never ceases to amaze me. I will be walking through the Old City, I’ll see an alley way and venture in, and I’ll discover something new that I didn’t know existed until then. This is exactly what happened when I came across the Monastery of St. John the Baptist Prodomos on Shouk Abtimous Street of the Christian Quarter.
The monastery is owned by the Greek Orthodox Church and is OLD. Today’s church is built on a much older structure. I initially fell in love with the courtyard. Stunning. I loved the blue colors (reminds me of Greece) and the drinking wells.
The church, built in the 5th century was demolished by the Persians in 614. During Crusader times, it was known as the “Knights of St. John Hospital.” The Crusaders renovated the current structure. It was purchased in 1674 by the Franciscan Order.
Perhaps most interesting is what’s below the modern church. If you ask one of the Sisters, and give a small donation, they will open the iron door to the Byzantine church. It is was discovered and excavated in 1890. The excavators found a reliquary and a piece of the Holy Cross and other relics of St. John, Peter, and other Apostles.
It’s amazing to be standing in a structure that was used 1500 years ago!