Baptism Site “Bethany Beyond the Jordan”

UNESCO World Heritage Site #298: Baptism Site “Bethany Beyond the Jordan”
Baptism Site “Bethany Beyond the Jordan”: My 298th UNESCO World Heritage Site

From the World Heritage inscription for Baptism Site “Bethany Beyond the Jordan”:

Situated on the eastern bank of the River Jordan, nine kilometers north of the Dead Sea, the archaeological site consists of two distinct areas: Tell Al-Kharrar, also known as Jabal Mar-Elias (Elijah’s Hill) and the area of the churches of Saint John the Baptist near the river. Situated in a pristine natural environment the site is believed to be the location where Jesus of Nazareth was baptized by John the Baptist. It features Roman and Byzantine remains including churches and chapels, a monastery, caves that have been used by hermits and pools in which baptisms were celebrated, testifying to the religious character of the place. The site is a Christian place of pilgrimage.

During a trip to Jordan in 2013, I had the pleasure of visiting the Bethany Baptism site which is on the banks of the Jordan river. The overall site has several Christian churches from several denominations.

The actual historic location is pretty underwhelming, as you can see in the photo. There are the ruins of churches which have stood on the spot, but currently, there is no church marking the location. There is another site on the other side of the border in Israel, but historically it was the East Bank of the Jordan River where it was believed Jesus was baptized.

This site is one of several early Christian sites in the region including the nativity church in Bethlehem and the church in Nazareth.

So long as you have transportation, getting here isn’t that difficult as it is a popular tourist attraction with pilgrims.

View the complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Jordan.

View the list of all of the UNESCO World Heritage sites I have visited on my travels.

Last updated: Aug 1, 2017 @ 8:20 pm