Dir Hagla - Gerasimon
Dir Hagla is one of the most beautiful monasteries in the Judea Desert. It
is situated to the east of Jericho, a little jump from the Jordan River.
This used to be part of "The Monasteries Country", which has closed it's
gates to the visitor, unless he's a soldier doing MILU'IM, and you must agree
with me that MILU'IM isn't a good time to make a pleasure visit...
In the monastery, like in many others, there's a nice mosaic, from the bisantine
period, and there's a fruit garden with trees and vegetables. There's a little
windmill to supply water from the well. Near the monastery there's a big
spring - Ein Hagla, which attracts camels and other animals to come and drink.
The story of the monastery is the story of Saint Gerasimon, who was a devoted
monk. One day, walking from Jericho to his little cave around here, a lion
stood infront of him and roared. The lion frightened him, but he suddenly
saw that he has a thorn in the finger, and that's the reason for the lion's
crying and roaring. So Gerasimon took the spine out of the lion's finger,
and from that moment the lion became his friend. You will be able to see
the picture of Gerasimon and the Lion in the monastery.
How to get there:
Just drive on the bypass road of Jericho, and about 10 km after Jericho Junction,
you'll see the monastery to your right. The picture was taken from the bypass
Other things to see in the area:
Jericho - Palestinian Authority City, very quiet usually with interesting
sites, mainly archeological - 5 min west.
Sartaba - a palace from the Herodes period -
- and the St. George Monastery - 20min west.
You are welcome to look at the pictures: